New lobbying group backed by Google, eBay, Amazon, Facebook

New lobbying group backed by Google, eBay, Amazon, Facebook

Summary: According to reports, the Internet giants are all supporting the creation of a new trade association in Washington.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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In order to combat regulatory and political issues stemming from online services, Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook and other well-known Internet companies are starting a new trade association.

Reuters reports that the collaborative effort, dubbed the "Internet Assocation" will launch in September this year. Citing a person close to the group, the publicaton says that the primary point of the group will be to "handle political and regulatory issues" in Washington DC. 

President Michael Beckerman, former advisor to the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee said that the Internet Association will act as a "unified voice for major Internet companies".

Both Google and Facebook currently spend vast amounts of money on political lobbying. Beckerman said:

"We want to educate (lawmakers) about the impact of the Internet in their congressional districts. In September, we'll do a full rollout and announce companies and announce policy positions."

Some of the latest issues to surface on the political agenda are that of easing visa restrictions to hire skilled overseas engineers, privacy, cybersecurity and sales tax rates for Internet companies. The full list of companies joining the group and the issues that take priority will be announced in September.

Google and Facebook have been steadily increasing their federal lobbying, spending $3.9m and $960,000 between April and June this year respectively on issues including online privacy and immigration legislation. Ebay spent $400,600 in the second quarter, up ten percent from the previous year, and Amazon spent $690,000.

Legislation including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) all drew the wrath of online companies and the general public, so perhaps with an official group in place, proposed legislation may at least be based on a little more information and understanding in the future. Although, that might be too optimistic. 

Topic: Tech Industry

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15 comments
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  • No surprise

    In US politics, money not only talks, but gets you elected, puts your kids through school, helps with house renovations, buys you a friendly beer or glass of wine when you're troubled (or a discreet, understanding companion when you're lonely), and all in all is your best friend. With maybe one or two asterisks attached to it.
    JustCallMeBC
    • In US politics? Don't you mean in ALL politics?

      as we see that happening all across the world, from the EU to smaller countries; from Mexico to...
      William Farrel
      • Yeah, but....

        The US seems to have been taking this sort of thing to whole new levels the past 10 years. For example, just look at the big defense contractors (now calling themselves "security companies" to cover more funding bases): they have been moving their HQs to the DC area. Why? The weather? The academic environment? The indie music scene? You take away the touristy stuff, and all you have left is a cultural wasteland of office parks, bland suburbs, and frou-frou shops & restaurants surrounding a sad urban center. As a non-tourist, you go to DC to influence, period. And you will not be discouraged, especially if you come bearing gifts with lots of zeros.
        JustCallMeBC
  • Lobbying is evil

    The term "lobbying" in the political context is a euphemism for the wilful subversion of democracy by self-serving corporations and an elite minority.

    These corporations, particularly Google and Apple, know that government decisions and policies can affect their bottom line. Governments are major customers, too. Lobbying can also subvert the process of true competition to such an extent that the consumer as well as the tax-payer actually lose the only benefits of market capitalism and a free market.

    Thanks to these corporations, we live in a phoney democracy in which money and power influence the government while votes to not.
    Tim Acheson
    • It's a phony democracy because of 60% voter turnout

      Presidential elections rarely get more than 60% of eligible voter participation, and off-year elections are in the low 40s. Lobbying and PAC spending wouldn't mean anything if a higher percentage of US voters would make up their own minds and fill-out a ballot.
      matthew_maurice
  • Lobbying is evil

    The term "lobbying" in the political context is a euphemism for the wilful subversion of democracy by self-serving corporations and an elite minority.

    These corporations, particularly Google and Apple, know that government decisions and policies can affect their bottom line. Governments are major customers, too. Lobbying can also subvert the process of true competition to such an extent that the consumer as well as the tax-payer actually lose the only benefits of market capitalism and a free market.

    Thanks to these corporations, we live in a phoney democracy in which money and power influence the government while votes do not.
    Tim Acheson
  • I hope the tech community......

    follows the lobbying of the RICH, ELITE, LIBERAL LEFT, companies noted are just as guilty of the policies they despise of the SO CALLED RIGHT companies they like to bash so much.
    partman1969@...
    • It would be so much easier...

      ...if employers could discriminate on the basis of political affiliation and voting records. That way, you could have purely Democratic and Republican companies that could boycott each other.
      John L. Ries
      • It's come to this

        Religion, too! I see where Rahm Immanuel has banned Chik-Fil-A from Chicago. I don't know why. Daley never banned Schlotzky's.
        Robert Hahn
        • Probably...

          ...because Daley didn't feel threatened by Republicans. His seat was safe and the Republican Party is almost irrelevant in Chicago.
          John L. Ries
    • Let's come back after the election

      I'm willing to bet that the majority of their spending goes to Republicans, if for no other reason than the House is controlled by the GOP and the Senate is fairly evenly divided.
      matthew_maurice
  • Facebook

    Facebook even keeps tabs of you, your friends and family for the CIA. I hope ya all like that CHANGE.
    partman1969@...
    • Flagged?

      Yeh, riiight. Flag someone for telling the truth! Sad.
      btljooz
      • Presumably...

        ...it was flagged for gratuious partisanship.
        John L. Ries
  • SOS

    Game played over the public's (peasants') head. Nothing new, but added abuse.
    klumper