Apple is known for being big. In terms of market value, no company in the world exceeds its $580 billion. The U.S. capital may be the one place where its presence is noticeably, and quizzically, small.
Like other entrepreneurial operators from the West Coast, Apple has long seen a yawning gap between its inventive culture and the gridlock that defines Washington, and thus tried to avoid dealings with lawmakers. For years, Apple spent no more than $1 million annually trying to influence elected officials.
It wasn't until 2013, when Chief Executive Tim Cook was hauled into Congress to testify about the company's overseas tax strategy, that Apple reconsidered. That same year, revelations about government surveillance exploded into view thanks to Edward Snowden and further galvanized a new approach from Apple.