Wading into Washington
Google, Amazon.com, eBay, Facebook and other Internet companies are joining forces and forming a lobbying group called The Internet Association. The group opened for business today and aims to tackle regulatory and political issues in Washington, D.C.
The group's president Michael Beckerman, former advisor to Fred Upton, the chairman of the US House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee, said that the group will lobby on issues such as allocation of visas for engineers and matters of privacy and piracy. Other members include Expedia, LinkedIn, Monster Worldwide, Yahoo! and Zynga.
Internet companies have not tried to pool their resources before to influence regulations pertaining to revenue repatriation, cyber security, and sales tax. As a result they usually get stomped on by the Telcos.
Beckerman said that the Internet's decentralised and open systems have created unprecedented entrepreneurialism. "Policymakers must understand that the preservation of that freedom is essential to the vitality of the Internet itself and the resulting economic prosperity," he said.
Google and Facebook are among the companies that have been steadily ramping up spending on lobbying the federal government.