Tech Loses Once-Powerful Lobbying Group After Industry Divisions
(Bloomberg) -- The Internet Association will break up by the end of the year, its board said Wednesday, citing “tremendous growth and change” in the technology industry since the once-powerful lobbying group was founded a decade ago.
The association has seen its influence in Washington wane as it struggled to balance competing interests of its member companies, which include behemoths like Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as well as niche companies like home cleaning service Handy and Ancestry.com.
The Internet Association faced financial difficulty after Microsoft Corp. and Uber Technologies Inc. left the group last month. The organization has also refrained from weighing in on one policy debate that has the potential to disrupt the entire industry: antitrust.
IA’s dissolution, reported earlier by Politico, comes as the tech industry faces regulatory threats from all angles, especially from U.S. agencies and lawmakers following their European counterparts in challenging its market concentration. The antitrust debate put IA in a difficult position, with member company Spotify Technology SA, for example, supporting legislation aimed at Amazon, Google and Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc.
U.S. lawmakers are also vowing to pursue bills aimed at protecting user privacy, requiring greater transparency and holding tech companies accountable for the way platforms spread information.
Even with IA’s absence, there’s a constellation of lobbying groups still working to defend the tech industry’s interests in Washington, including the Computer and Communications Industry Association, the Information Technology Industry Council and NetChoice. TechNet is a network of tech executives, and the Chamber of Progress calls itself “a new tech industry coalition devoted to” progressive issues.
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