You might not think that Washington D.C. – or the tech industry – needs yet another trade association or lobbying group. But after last year’s battles over the Stop Internet Piracy Act and other proposed legislation, some of Silicon Valley’s biggest Internet companies would disagree.
Fourteen leading online companies on Wednesday launched a new Washington-based advocacy group, The Internet Association, which describes itself as “the nation’s first trade association representing the interests of the Internet economy, America’s leading Internet companies and their vast community of users.”
Members include such giants as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Amazon.com, as well as Zynga, Salesforce.com, LinkedIn, AOL, IAC and a few others. They describe their goal as “to protect a free and innovative Internet.”
The tech industry already has a number of other trade and advocacy groups, including TechAmerica, TechNet and the Information Technology Industry Council. Notably absent from the new group’s membership, however, are some industry giants, including Apple and Microsoft, that do a lot of business on the Internet but are not exclusively online companies.
The new group has hired Michael Beckerman, a veteran GOP Congressional staffer, as CEO.