Facebook, Amazon and 11 other technology heavyweights have
announced that they have formed a lobby group, and vowed to
strengthen and protect a free and innovative internet.
The group called "The Internet Association" is the first trade
association representing the interests of the internet economy in
the US, Xinhua reported.
The association now has 14 members -- Amazon.com, AOL, eBay,
Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster, Rackspace,
Salesforce.com, TripAdvisor, Yahoo and Zynga.
The group said it represents "the unified voice of the internet
However, two names, Apple and Microsoft, were absent from the
list, Xinhua said.
"A free and innovative internet is vital to our nation's economic
growth," Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of The Internet
Association, was quoted as saying.
He said the companies "understand the future of the internet is at
stake" and they "must work together to protect it".
Beckerman recently stepped down as a top aide to US House Energy
and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton. The group is based in
The report said a few technology giants have been more
"politically savvy" in recent years as US lawmakers are putting
more attention to issues like online privacy and competition.
Google spent a record $5.03 million on lobbying during the first
quarter this year, a big increase from the $1.48 million in the
same period last year.
Facebook also broke its lobbying record in the second quarter of
2012, during which the company went public. It spent $960,000 in
wooing politicians, tripling the money it spent in the same period