Internet Association Lobbies US Gov For Google, Amazon And Pals
The Internet Association aims to stop legislation like SOPA and PIPA
Today, 14 e-commerce heavyweights have launched the Internet Association – a high-tech lobbying group designed to argue for the interests of online businesses with the US government.
Members of the group include Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo, Expedia, Rackspace, Salesforce, LinkedIn and Zynga. The Association wants to prevent the emergence of proposed laws like Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or Protect IP Act (PIPA), which appeared after pressure from the entertainment industry.
“We are dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth and empower users,” says a mission statement on the group’s site.
The organisation will be led by Michael Beckerman, a former advisor to Fred Upton, the chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.
“It is the Internet’s decentralized and open model that has unleashed unprecedented entrepreneurialism,” Beckerman told Reuters. “Policymakers must understand that the preservation of that freedom is essential to the vitality of the Internet itself and the resulting economic prosperity.”
“SOPA and PIPA came almost out of nowhere and would have had a devastating impact,” he added.
The group currently has four staff members, but plans to hire more, reports Washington Post. The corporate members don’t include Microsoft or Apple who, like other mature tech companies tend to use their own well established lobbyists in Washington for years.
According to disclosure forms, Google has lobby groups at the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the US Department of Commerce, and has spent nearly $9 million (£5.5m) on lobbying in the first half of 2012.
Facebook has also been engaging politicians before, including on the issues of stock and Initial Public Offerings. The social network has spent $1.6 million (£1m) on lobbying in the first half of this year, compared to $550,000 (£338,150) last year.
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