Apple spent less money lobbying the US government last year than 10 of the biggest tech companies in the US, and 13% less than it did in 2011. Despite the comparitively low spend, it was Apple that got the mention in Obama's State of the Union address last week, suggesting that the lobbying may have paid off.  

Apple spent $1.97 million compared to Google's $18.22 million. Microsoft spent $8.09m, HP $7.22m, and Facebook spent $3.99m.

A Fortune report notes that according to its LD-2 disclosure form, Apple spent its money lobbying in areas including:

-       Taxation (including the repatriation of profits earned overseas)

-       Education (iPads for use in schools)

-       Transportation (the use of technology in cars and planes)

-       Computer industry (cybercrime)

-       Media (electronic publishing)

-       And more.

In May last year Apple CEO Tim Cook headed to the US House of Representatives to speak to Speaker John Boehner (pictured). At the time it was thought that Cook was lobbying for a tax holiday that would mean Apple can bring back billions in offshore cash at a low tax rate.

Some of Cook's lobbying appears to have paid off. President Obama gave Apple a mention in his State of the Union address last week. Obama said: "Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs in manufacturing. After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again."

In December 2012, Cook announced that the company is planning to manufacture one of its existing Mac lines exclusively in the US this year.

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