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'The Internet Association' lobby to be formed by Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay


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Justin Sullivan

Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and eBay are planning to join forces to create an internet lobby group called "The Internet Association," according to the BBC.

The lobby will launch in September and work out of Washington, said the BBC, handling political issues and regulations.

The Washington Post reported that the lobby will represent the group's interests as federal lawmakers turn their focus to the largely unregulated tech industry. The lobby will be led by Michael Beckerman, the former deputy staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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"The newly formed Internet Association is comprised of some of the world's most visible Internet companies and will be headquartered in Washington," said a statement on the group's website, according to Agence France Presse.

"Beckerman will lead the Internet Association's efforts to advance public policy solutions that strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet," it said.

The issues that have concerned internet companies recently have included visa restrictions on overseas engineers, revenue repatriation, privacy and cybersecurity, said Reuters.

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The Center for Responsive Politics said Google spent $5.4 million on lobbying in 2012 so far, and Facebook spent $650,000, according to the BBC.

Legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) faced criticism from the tech industry.

"The Internet isn't just Silicon Valley anymore, the Internet has moved to Main Street. Our top priority is to ensure that elected leaders in Washington understand the profound impacts of the Internet and Internet companies on jobs, economic growth and freedom," said Beckerman, according to AFP.