Nov 16, 2021 - Technology

Scoop: Microsoft, Uber leaving Internet Association

Illustration of a bandaged hand cursor

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Microsoft and Uber are leaving the Internet Association (IA), a trade group that lobbies on behalf of internet companies and the tech industry, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Losing Microsoft and Uber, two major members, is a blow for the group. The association has seen steadily waning influence in D.C. in recent years, partly because it does not work on the competition and antitrust issues that beset the industry right now.

What they're saying: “It is always unfortunate to lose a member, but business decisions related to time and resources are to be respected," said Christina Martin, senior vice president of global communications and public affairs at The Internet Association.

  • "Microsoft and Uber have been great supporters of IA for nearly a decade. We have every hope they may return in the future," Martin said. “IA remains nearly 40 strong with new members having been added such as Discord, Notarize and NewsBreak.”   
  • "We advocate for public policies that support our business goals," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "As our business needs evolve, we periodically review trade association memberships to ensure alignment with our policy agenda."

Flashback: IA, which was founded in 2012 and includes members such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, thrived when it could fight for all of its member companies with a unified voice on policy goals, an easier mission in the earlier days of the internet, when tech still had a halo in Washington.

  • Now, tech companies often have different legislative priorities based on size or other factors. That has made IA's job more difficult and sometimes has set members at odds with one another.
  • Longtime former IA president Michael Beckerman is now at TikTok. Dane Snowden, a former cable lobbying group executive, is current president and CEO.
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