Apple lobbyists are harder to ignore

From "Lawmakers are racing to pass tech antitrust reforms before midterms" posted Saturday on CNBC:

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, a Senate bill that closely resembles an earlier House version, advanced out of the Judiciary Committee earlier this year by a wide margin.

Known among staff and lawmakers as the self-preferencing or anti-discrimination bill, the legislation would prohibit dominant tech platforms like Amazon, Apple and Google from giving preferential treatment to their own services in marketplaces they operate...

Those who seek to educate congressional offices on the bills say tech’s fingerprints are clear through the talking points echoed by staff.

“By the time that we were engaging with congressional offices they’d heard from like 12 people from industry,” said Accountable Tech's [Jesse] Lehrich.“ You could tell who they talked to just from the things that they’re raising.”

Lehrich said advocates for the bills would end up spending the “first 30 minutes debunking talking points from Facebook and Amazon and Apple and Google.” But he said the way the tech lobbyists have been “out in full force ... in a weird way is almost encouraging.”

“Before the House markup there was this sense that this was all like a pipe dream,” Lehrich said, noting how many tech firms would mainly speak through their trade groups against the bills. Now, even Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken against the bills.

Lehrich said Apple’s lobbying has so far seemed to be the most persuasive to lawmakers with lingering concerns about the legislation, in part because it’s maintained a greater sense of credibility in Washington than some of its peers.

“When Facebook or Amazon make baseless sky-is-falling attacks, there’s little to say besides, ‘that’s just patently false,‘” Lehrich said in an email. “When Apple makes esoteric arguments about serious security risks of sideloading, you need compelling substantive pushback to allay lawmakers’ concerns.”

My take: Glad even the bills proponents can see the difference between Apple and the rest.


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    I have stated from the “git-go” that little-to-nothing ever will come from this pretense of political regulatory profession. 🙂

    June 4, 2022
  2. Working in & around DC from the 80s I’ve known too many lobbyists. The Chlorine lobby was a client, they got their legislative agenda covered. Apple’s product & service line must be a joy to represent before the European Union or Korean legislature.

    June 4, 2022
  3. Guy that rep’d for Bombardier had 2 Seadoos & a Chevy pickup he never used. He hated water sports so we used the promo gear. Pharma rep bought her crew dinners at McCormick & Schmick’s. K Street, Tyson’s Corner & Vienna, VA are very lucrative places to do IT consulting to this very day.
    BTW: Tysons Corner sounds like an old gas station from the 1940s on the corner which is exactly how it got started. Apple’s first retail store was open there and I went in a day later & bought software.

    June 4, 2022
  4. Steven Philips said:
    Or…”Tech lobbyists spent the next 30 minutes debunking statements by the bill’s supporters …”
    The presumption that “truth” lies in the bill is always annoying.

    June 4, 2022
  5. Fred Stein said:
    This effort serves the vainglorious pretense that the lawmakers are protecting us from big tech as a predator. It’s an easy lie to sell to the naive. Big tech has a lot of power. Some beg tech companies do abuse their power. The wealth inequities are a real problem, hurting real people. It’s easy to conflate all this in this foolish law.

    The pretense is that these laws will alleviate any of the above problems. The laws, by forcing platforms to be ‘open’, remove the ability platform owners to prevent predation. At best the lawmakers could propose government regulation to take on a new pretense of totally futile whackamole against all the 2-bit scammers, ID-thefts, marrying-Sams, and sexual predators on these “open” platforms.

    June 5, 2022
    • David Emery said:
      Certainly we can look at the failure of legislation to fix the spam phone call problem as evidence that Congress and regulatory agencies can’t fix relatively simple problems. (The Caller ID on these calls is -always- forged.)

      June 5, 2022

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