The Internet Association (IA), once the tech industry’s top lobbying shop in Washington, representing companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, will dissolve as soon as Wednesday, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Axios.
Driving the news: IA’s board will meet Wednesday morning for a vote to dissolve the organization, something the source described as a formality, with the decision already made.
- The source said Microsoft’s departure, first reported by Axios, made the decision imminent, and put the other members in a precarious financial position. Uber recently left the organization as well.
- The news that IA would dissolve was first reported by Politico.
Why it matters: IA was once a highly influential group, fighting for policy to help internet companies grow with limited government regulation. It described itself as the “unified voice of the internet economy.” That unified voice simply doesn’t exist anymore.
- While the IA has historically avoided working in the areas of antitrust and competition, many of its top members are now in the crosshairs of antitrust investigations and proposed bills around the world. All the while, its members constantly compete with one another.
- The organization has long worked to promote the importance Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law that shields tech from most liability from third-party posts, but members were increasingly at odds over that policy and legislative paths forward.
Details: The IA has seen steadily waning influence in D.C. in recent years, as Axios previously reported.
- Former president Michael Beckerman is now at TikTok. Current CEO Dane Snowden came from a cable lobbying group.
What they’re saying: The source familiar with the situation said Microsoft’s departure made keeping the association going unviable, put it in a financial crisis, and that paralysis on big policy issues bogged the organization down.
- “What was once a leading voice for tech companies is fading into obscurity with barely a whimper and hardly anything to show for itself,” one former employee told Axios.
- The Internet Association didn’t immediately return a request for comment.