Tensions in Silicon Valley Killed the Internet Association

December 25th, 2021 5:07 PM

The Internet Association is dead, and Big Tech is to blame.

Growing tensions between Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft have caused the group to shut down.

According to the Financial Times, the demise comes after Microsoft and Uber both pulled their financial support from the group. 

“Our industry has undergone tremendous growth and change,” the Association said in a statement, noting that its closure was “in line with this evolution.”

Experts said policy differences largely contributed to the tensions, as companies like Microsoft sought to distance themselves from Silicon Valley.

“Microsoft has realised that it doesn’t want to be associated with Google, Facebook and Amazon,” Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute, said. “It’s really, really simple.”

“This org could’ve saved itself years ago by kicking out everyone with a market cap greater than $500bn,” Luther Lowe, Yelp’s head of public policy, tweeted in response to the news. Yelp left the Internet Association in 2019. “I made this suggestion to the leadership a few years ago, but it was shot down, so we quit.”

Competitive priorities also contributed to the split, including a new company vision from Microsoft.

An internal memo written by Microsoft president Brad Smith and sent to staff in June outlined the company’s strategy.

“There will be many days when some in the tech sector will complain loudly about the risks of regulation,” an internal memo from Microsoft president Brad Smith read, which the company shared with the Times. “There are real risks, and they need a fair hearing. But as a company, we will continue to be more focused on adapting to regulation than fighting against it.”

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