Four of the biggest web companies have apparently joined to form a coalition that will represent the interests of online services in Washington. The Washington Post reports that Google, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay are behind "The Internet Association," which was announced today. Led by former Congressional staffer Michael Beckerman, the Association will "advance public policy solutions that strengthen and protect an open, innovative, and free internet." It will launch in September, and we haven't yet seen a full member list — an anonymous source has told the Post that the companies above are most prominent.
While no policies are listed, it's not difficult to guess at potential issues. Google and Facebook were prominent opponents of SOPA, and Amazon and eBay have strong but conflicting opinions regarding online sales tax. All four companies have come out in favor of net neutrality laws, something which will likely become a core policy position. Google already lobbies heavily, but we're now seeing companies that operate almost solely online band together, potentially in opposition to carriers like Verizon and AT&T or industry groups like the MPAA. Let's just hope their favored policies end up being ones we can get behind.