Donald Trump
President Donald Trump gestures during his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Rivlin’s residence in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. Reuters/Atef Safadi

President Donald Trump is a tough customer for tech companies. Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google spent more than $13 million combined earlier this year to lobby Trump and others in Washington D.C., federal records first spotted by Recode show.

The money used to sway Trump and D.C. makes it the most expensive quarter ever for Apple, Amazon and Google, in an effort to lobby the White House in areas ranging from net neutrality to immigration reform. The $13 million is an addition to numerous meetings with the Trump, including before he became president in December and in June.

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Apple spent $2.2 million between April 1 and June 30, federal records show. The total sum for lobbying efforts is double than the amount the Cupertino company spent in the same period last year. Apple lobbied on issues including cybersecurity, immigration, autonomous vehicle technologies, privacy and health data, climate change and energy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously criticized Trump’s views on immigration. In an internal memo to employees after Trump’s travel ban executive order, he pointed out the company would not have existed without immigration, since Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs’ father was an immigrant from Syria. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Cook said he continued to contact “very, very senior people in the White House” to talk about why repealing the executive order is important not only for Apple but for the country.

Last month, Cook told Bloomberg Businessweek he and Trump were “dramatically different,” adding that Apple “pushed hard” on immigration and climate change.

“Pulling out of the Paris climate accord was very disappointing,” he told Businessweek. “I think it’s the wrong decision.”

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Amazon spent $3.2 million trying to lobby Trump and D.C., records show. The company even hired a top fundraiser for Trump from the 2016 presidential campaign as one of its lobbyists.

Trump had previously slammed Amazon during his campaign and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon’s efforts come as it announced its $13.7 billion deal to purchase Whole Foods. The Federal Trade commission is currently reviewing the move. Meanwhile, some U.S. representatives have spoken out against the merger.


Google spent the most compared to other tech companies. The search engine company spent more than $5.9 million to lobby Washington from April to June, records show. The company is pushing for surveillance reforms, autonomous car regulations and privacy and competition issues in online advertising. Google is also lobbying for more federal funding of science. Trump’s budget cuts decreased federal funds for science and research. Meanwhile, the last three remaining employees of the science division of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy left a few weeks ago.


Facebook spent more than $2.3 million, documents show. The social media company is interested in “discussions regarding general intellectual property issues, including copyright reform,” immigration, cyber security, data security and reforming surveillance programs.