The entry for Apple Inc was viewed on the Open Secrets website, www.opensecrets.org, in August 2018. This detailed the company's political lobbying activities in the US.

The company and its employees were reported to have given $581,365
in political donations in 2018, with 92% of it going to Democrats.

The company had also spent $3,760,000 in political lobbying in 2018.

Apple lost a whole mark under Political Activities because of this information.

Reference:

Open Secrets website 2018 (2018)

According to the Ethical Consumer lobby group members list, updated in March 2018, Apple was a member of the following lobby groups:

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The Business Roundtable
The World Economic Forum
The US Council for International Business

These groups were regarded by Ethical Consumer as corporate lobby groups that exerted undue influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to the environment and human rights.

As such Apple Inc lost half a mark for each of the lobby groups of which it was a member.

Reference:

Ethical Consumer Lobby Group member list (8 March 2018)

In August 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed the family tree for Apple Inc on www.hoovers.com and found that the company had high risk subsidiaries in Netherlands, Hong Kong and, Singapore, all jurisdictions which were considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens. These companies were considered high risk of being used for tax avoidance purposes because they were all holding companies with subsidiaries in other countries.

In addition Apple had received many criticisms from other sources for its tax avoidance.

The company's Annual Report was checked but contained no country-by-country reporting.

The company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref 2018 (2018)

In December 2015 the BBC News website reported that Apple's Italian subsidiary had agreed to pay €318m (£235m; $348m) following an investigation into tax fraud allegations.

Italy's tax authorities said that the company had failed to pay €880m in tax between 2008 and 2013. During that period there was a huge gap between the company's revenues in Italy of over €1bn and the €30m that was paid in tax in the country.

The settlement followed an investigation by prosecutors in Milan and Apple had agreed to pay the amount requested by Italy's tax office.

It had previously denied attempting to escape paying tax owed on profits made around the world.

Apple Italia was part of the company's European operation which was headquartered in Ireland, a country with one of the lowest levels of corporation tax in the EU.

As a result Apple lost a whole mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

30 December 2015

In February 2015 the Guardian online reported that Apple had been ordered to pay more than $530m after a federal jury in Texas found its iTunes software infringed three patents owned by a patent licensing company called Smartflash. The jury determined Apple had not only used Smartflash’s patents without permission, but did so wilfully. The patents concerned digital rights management, data storage and payment systems. Apple, which said it would appeal, said the outcome was another reason that reform was needed in the patent system to curb litigation by companies that do not make products themselves.

Smartflash sued Apple in May 2013, alleging its iTunes software infringed its patents related to accessing and storing downloaded songs, videos and games. “Smartflash is very happy with the jury’s verdict, which recognises Apple’s longstanding wilful infringement,” said Brad Caldwell, a lawyer for Smartflash.

The trial was held in Tyler, Texas, which over the past decade had become a focus for patent litigation. Smartflash’s registered office was also located in Tyler. Apple tried to avoid a trial by having the lawsuit thrown out. However, US district judge Rodney Gilstrap, who presided over the case, ruled that Smartflash’s technology was not too basic to deserve the patents. Apple had asked the jury to find Smartflash’s patents invalid because previously patented inventions covered the same technology.

As a result Apple lost a whole mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Apple ordered to pay $530m for iTunes patents (25 February 2015)