Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and 11 other Internet companies have joined to form a lobbyist group as issues such as online privacy and security become a growing focus for lawmakers in Washington.
The Internet Association, based in Washington, will advocate for economic growth and job creation in the Internet sector, it said in a release today.
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Calls for more regulation of online business have prompted Web companies to boost their lobbying in recent years. Google, Facebook and others led an online protest earlier this year against proposed anti-piracy bills in the U.S. Congress, which they said would promote online censorship, disrupt the Web's architecture and hurt innovation.
The Internet Association is the first attempt at coordinating efforts, Michael Beckerman, the group's president and chief executive officer, said in an interview.
"A group of these companies came together and decided that they needed a unified trade association to represent the interests of the Internet economy in the policy debates," said Beckerman, a former deputy staff director of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.
Other members of the organization include AOL Inc., IAC/InterActiveCorp, Yahoo! Inc., Expedia Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., EBay Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Monster Worldwide Inc., Rackspace Hosting Inc., TripAdvisor Inc. and Zynga Inc.
--Editors: Reed Stevenson, Jillian Ward
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