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Defense bill passed by US House could allow easier contracts with tech firms like Apple

Major high-tech corporations like Apple could potentially reap new and easier military contracts under a bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

One part of the bill —negotiated by defense leaders in the House and Senate —would make it easier for the Department of Defense to buy commercial technology, Bloomberg reported. Companies like Apple, in turn, would not have to share any proprietary pricing information.

The bill may be unlikely to pass in its current state, however. Bloomberg noted that it still has to pass through the Senate, and President Barack Obama has threatened a veto, in part because it would enable $38 billion in one-time war funds as a way of circumventing a 2011 budget deal. Obama is pursuing a different budget arrangement that would raise the spending ceilings on both civilian and military programs.

In all, the present bill would cost the government and taxpayers $611.8 billion, much of which would be funneled towards contractors like Boeing, Lockheed, and Northrop Grumman. A new version could be submitted in the coming weeks, if Congress and the Obama administration manage to negotiate a compromise.

Though the U.S. military occasionally uses Apple products, relatively few partnerships have been struck. Most recently Apple became a member of the FlexTech Alliance, a group of 162 organizations collaborating with the Pentagon on flexible electronics.