Internet Association

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The Internet Association
Internet Association logo.png
TypeTrade association
Key people
Michael Beckerman; President & CEO

The Internet Association (IA) is a United States industry trade group based in Washington, D.C., which represents internet companies.[1] It was founded in 2012 by several companies, including Google, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook, and is headed by the president and CEO Michael Beckerman.[2]

IA lobbies Congress, the courts, foreign governments, federal and state agencies, and state and local governments on a range of regulatory issues.[3] The group also publishes economic research on the internet economy.

Group members have included companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Etsy, Expedia, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix and PayPal, among others.[4]


On July 25, 2012, news outlets reported that several internet companies, including Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook were founding a new lobbying group. Michael Beckerman was appointed President and CEO of the new Internet Association, set to publicly launch in September 19 of that year.[5][6][7]


The Internet Association is a lobbying group, and reported $1.5 million in political lobbying in the year 2014.[8]

Net neutrality[edit]

The association contested the FCC's initial net neutrality proposal in July 2014, advocating stronger neutrality rules.[9] It later praised the newer rules that surfaced in early 2015, advocating for net neutrality rules to apply equally to wireless and wired internet connections,[10] and applauded the development of net neutrality legislation by the Republican Party in the US Congress, which was developed as an alternative to the FCC reclassification proposal.[11]

The association supported the 2015 Open Internet Order, lobbying for it in the press, Congress and the courts.[12][13] It opposed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's Restoring Internet Freedom Order.[14]

It participated in the "Day of Action to Save the Internet" during the summer of 2017. It created a micro-site and video directing Americans to send comments to the FCC opposing the Restoring Internet Freedom Order,[15][16] and stated plans to participate in lawsuits to overturn the Order as an intervenor.[17][18]

Intellectual property[edit]

The association advocates patent reform legislation, to make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue for patent damages.[19]


In September 2018, Internet Association called for federal privacy legislation and released policy principles for a federal privacy law. [20] [21][22]

Sharing economy[edit]

In 2015, Internet Association president and CEO Michael Beckerman criticized the Seattle authorities for allowing transportation network company drivers to form unions, claiming that it would "undermine the ability of for-hire and ride-sharing companies to operate".[23][24]

In 2017, the Internet Association opposed California AB 375, a data privacy bill that would require Internet service providers to obtain customers' permission to collect and sell their browsing history, citing desensitization and security as the basis for their opposition.[25]

IA opposed Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher's "tipping bill", arguing that the market, not the state, should dictate company decisions in the sector.[26] The group similarly opposed an FCC vote on net neutrality in December 2017.[27]


During negotiations over NAFTA in 2017, the IA supported a strong "safe harbor" protection, similar to the DMCA provision, for cases such as internet firms whose users post pirated content.[28]

Intermediary liability[edit]

IA backed intermediary liability protections when opposing FOSTA [29] and supporting Airbnb in its case against the city of San Francisco.[30] IA also sponsored an advertising campaign in support of Airbnb in Chicago during the company's negotiations with the Emanuel administration regarding additional regulation and taxes.[31]

Global internet governance[edit]

In 2016, IA led the coalition behind an amicus brief opposing an attempt to block the transition of internet domain oversight from the U.S. to an international governing body.[32] The group then participated in the IANA transition which privatized the organization’s function at ICANN. The Hill listed it among the “Top 10 Lobbying Victories in 2016.” [33]


  1. ^ Johnson, Ted (2018-01-05). "Internet Association Will Join Legal Battle to Fight FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal". Variety. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  2. ^ "Stealth-Mode DC Lobby Group Internet Association (Google, Amazon, FB, eBay) Names CEO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  3. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "Google, eBay, Amazon, Facebook back new lobbying group". U.S. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  4. ^ "'We are disappointed': Tech firms are speaking up against the FCC's plan to kill net neutrality". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  5. ^ Ingrid Lunden (25 Jul 2012). "Stealth-Mode DC Lobby Group Internet Association (Google, Amazon, FB, eBay) Names CEO". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 7 Feb 2015.
  6. ^ Chris Frates (25 Jul 2012). "Exclusive: New Internet Industry Trade Association to Launch". National Journal. Retrieved 7 Feb 2015.
  7. ^ Bachman, Katy. "Fast Chat: The Internet Association's Michael Beckerman Head lobbyist for 14 Web giants readies for new Congress By Katy Bachman". AdWeek. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Lobbying Spending Database: Internet Assn". Center for Responsive Politics. 22 Jan 2015. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015.
  9. ^ Rachel King (14 July 2014). "Internet Association voices concerns about FCC's net neutrality proposal". ZDnet. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015.
  10. ^ "Internet Companies Take Aim at Wireless Net Neutrality as Debate Rages On". Recode. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  11. ^ Julian Hattem (15 Jan 2015). "Tech giants cheer GOP lawmakers' net neutrality moves". The Hill. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015.
  12. ^ Breland, Ali (2017-04-12). "Tech lobby goes to bat on net neutrality". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  13. ^ Center, Electronic Privacy Information. "EPIC - ACA International v. FCC (2015 TCPA Order Litigation)". Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  14. ^ "What tech companies are saying about the repeal of net neutrality rules". Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  15. ^ "Here's how the internet's net neutrality day of action unfolded". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  16. ^ "Internet Companies Plan Online Campaign To Keep Net Neutrality Rules". Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  17. ^ "The leading lobbying group for Amazon, Google and other tech giants is joining the battle to restore net neutrality". Recode. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  18. ^ "Silicon Valley's biggest lobbying group says it will help sue the FCC over net neutrality". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  19. ^ Eric Hal Schwartz (5 Feb 2015). "Patent Troll Bill Will Get Second Shot Now That Republicans Control Congress". DC Inno. Retrieved 9 Feb 2015.
  20. ^ "Tech groups move to shape privacy debate". Axios. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  21. ^ CNBC (2018-09-12). "Internet group backs 'national' data privacy approach". Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  22. ^ Nix, Naomi; Brody, Ben (12 September 2018). "More Tech Groups Join Calls to Give Consumers Power Over Data". Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  23. ^ Seattle City Council votes to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize - Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, 14 December 2015
  24. ^ Uber and other drivers want flexibility, not union bosses - Michael Beckerman, Seattle Times, 9 December 2015
  25. ^ ISPs claim a privacy law would weaken online security and increase pop-ups - Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 14 September 2017
  26. ^ "California gives gig workers a break — but just a little one". Daily Breeze. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  27. ^ "Merger mania continues with Disney and Fox". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  28. ^ Johnson, Ted (2017-09-01). "Internet Firms Describe Themselves as 'New Faces' of Content Industry in Trade Letter". Variety. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  29. ^ "Hill Passes Bill Targeting Online Sex Trafficking". Multichannel. Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  30. ^ "Internet Association Backs Airbnb Effort To Block San Francisco Law". Retrieved 2018-08-08.
  31. ^ "Emanuel administration threatens to cut off talks with Airbnb". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  32. ^ Segal, Cheryl (2016-09-30). "Tech groups file court brief opposing internet transition suit". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  33. ^ Davis, John (2016-12-14). "Top 10 lobbying victories of 2016". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-11-07.

External links[edit]