Internet-Association-Official

Microsoft has decided to leave the Internet Association (IA), a US lobby group that represents online-based companies in Washington D.C. and sought net neutrality and other changes. Ride sharing giant Uber is also leaving IA, putting the future of the group in doubt.

It is worth noting that Microsoft is still listed as a member on the Internet Association website. However, the company has officially confirmed its departure:

“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.”

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It seems Microsoft was struggling to see value in being a member of the group. Some reports suggest IA will be closing down entirely and that Microsoft and Uber are simply taking pre-emptive notion. However, in confirming Microsoft’s departure, the IA did not reference plans to disband the group:

“It is always unfortunate to lose a member, but business decisions related to time and resources are to be respected,” says 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. IA remains nearly 40 strong with new members having been added such as Discord, Notarize and NewsBreak.”   

Changing Dynamic

Reports suggest rivalries between companies makes it hard for the IA to work as a unified group lobby for change. In other words, each company has its own agenda and compromises are rare.

Founded in 2012, the IA aims to create a single voice for online tech companies who share policy goals. By working in the US capital, the group lobbies the government for effective change. Despite Microsoft and Uber leaving, the group still includes dozes of companies, including Big Tech players Amazon, Google, and Facebook.  

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