Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook are starting a trade association to lobby Congress on political and regulatory issues.
In September, the Internet Association will open its doors in Washington, D.C.and act as a unified voice for major Internet companies, President Michael Beckerman, a former advisor to the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee, told Reuters.
Although not all members were named, a source confirmed that Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook were part of the coalition.
It's not surprising, especially since Internet companies have a common goal in getting very specific needs met regarding privacy, security and sales tax. "We want to educate (lawmakers) about the impact of the Internet in their congressional districts," said Beckerman. "In September, we'll do a full rollout and announce companies and announce policy positions."
Google spent $3.92 million from April to June to lobby various federal agencies, so a new trade association that would take some of the financial burden off its back is a wise choice for the search engine. However, we're not quite sure how Facebook, eBay, Amazon and others fit into the equation.
In the same second-quarter, Facebook paid $960,000, Amazon spent $690,000 and eBay paid $400,000.
Google's big tab was for dealing with antitrust regulators while Facebook dealt with privacy issues. EBay centered its spending on piracy and counterfeiting, air pollution and revenue repatriation. Amazon was more concerned with sales tax, privacy and advertising.
It will be interesting to see how this new trade association tackles the issues -- and which ones.