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Apple taps veteran Senate finance staffer as new top lobbyist

A report on Monday claims Apple has hired former Senate staffer Amber Cottle, who served as staff director on one of the most influential committees on Capitol Hill, to be its new lobbyist in Washington, D.C.


Amber Cottle. | Source: Forbes

According to Politico, Apple recently hired Cottle to handle government affairs in Washington as the company looks to grow its influence amid an increasingly volatile customer privacy landscape.

Prior to Apple, Cottle worked as a Senate Finance Committee staffer for five years. She was named Democratic Staff Director by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) in 2012, moving up from a previous post as the committee's Chief International Trade Counsel.

Cottle will take over for Apple's former top lobbyist Catherine Novelli, who in September 2013 left the company after being nominated to a post at the State Department.

Historically, Apple is not particularly well known for its lobbying activities, though the company has been more active in Washington after becoming the world's largest tech company. One of the main reasons for Apple's recent interest in politicking is the company's unique tax strategy, which has been framed by the U.S. Congress as being exploitative.

Apple is reported to have spent some $3.3 million in lobbying efforts in 2013, which is a significant boost from 2012's roughly $2 million. In comparison, other large tech companies allot much more capital to lobbying expenditures, with Microsoft and Google logging a respective $8 million and $16.5 million for 2012, according to Reuters.