Official lobbying disclosures show that Apple has hired a new lobbying firm, Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock to help lobby Federal politicians as issues such as taxes, privacy, patent and trade reform get underway this year. Apple has typically shied away from most Washington affairs, only spending $1.6 million on lobbying whilst competitors such as Microsoft spent almost $7 million in 2010.
Politico understands that the new firm began representing Apple from February 1st and amongst the lobbyists handling Apple’s work is the firm’s president Mark Isakowitz and Kirk Blalock, both of whom have extensive experience in Washington. Politico also makes note that:
Apple has received scrutiny from regulators, who have eyed its App Store guidelines and its handling of Flash video on the iPhone. At the same time, Capitol Hill has ramped up debate over issues such as online privacy and competitiveness – topics that could affect Apple’s bottom line.
Apple’s 2010 lobbying forms reflect the company has been an active participant in those conversations, speaking to lawmakers and federal regulators about patents, research funding, free trade agreements and taxes. It’s new outside firm, Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock, has handled some of those issues for other industry clients such as CTIA, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, Time Warner Cable and the Coalition for Patent Fairness.