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Apple reduced federal lobbying to $2M in 2012

Apple's lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. were scaled back 13 percent in 2012 to $2 million, a sum below many of the iPhone maker's peers.

Apple spent less on lobbying than many of its rivals in 2012. Chart via Apple 2.0.

While Apple spent just $1.97 million in federal lobbying dollars during all of the 2012 presidential election year, its rival Google spent more than $18 million, as noted by Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Apple 2.0 on Monday. While Apple spent less last year, Google's lobbying dollars increased by 90 percent year over year.

Other tech companies ahead of Apple on the list were Microsoft ($8.09 million), Hewlett-Packard ($7.22 million), Facebook ($3.99 million), Amazon ($2.5 million), and Dell ($2.39 million).

Apple's lobbying efforts were "spread out pretty thinly over a wide range of issues," Elmer-Dewitt noted, citing the company's LD-2 Disclosure Form from the U.S. House of Representatives. Topics included taxation and the repatriation of profits housed overseas, education and the use of digital textbooks in schools, and the environment and EPEAT standards.

Apple's spending was divided pretty evenly throughout the year, as the company spent around $500,000 per quarter throughout the year. Apple has historically spent less than its rivals on government lobbying, though the Cupertino, Calif., company has previously pushed strongly for an offshore tax holiday that would allow it to bring its overseas cash back to the U.S. at a reduced rate.