Some people attribute the end of AI to growing tensions between Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, and Apple.
the Internet Association (AI), the Big Tech lobby group in Washington is set to end by the end of December. The nine-year-old organization is shutting down after Microsoft, Uber and a few others ended their funding.
Some people attribute the end of AI to growing tensions between Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, and Apple. The association’s board of directors confirmed the move in a statement Wednesday, although it did not provide details on why it was shutting down the organization.
“Our industry has experienced tremendous growth and change since the creation of the Internet Association nearly 10 years ago, and in accordance with this development, the Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to close the organization to the end of this year, “he said.
The group has brought together some of the biggest players online, including Google, Facebook and eBay. The association’s founding CEO, Michael Beckerman, left in 2020 to become head of U.S. policy for TikTok.
The media report sharp political disagreements among its members, which has led to some disaffection with the current leadership headed by CEO K. Dane Snowden. Antitrust laws against companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are a bone of contention.
Additionally, Microsoft has shown its reluctance to continue with its members because it believes its future is quite different from other big Silicon Valley techs. “Microsoft realized it didn’t want to be associated with Google, Facebook and Amazon,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Open Markets Institute, an anti-monopoly campaign group.
“It’s really, really simple.”
Additionally, young startups like Yelp and other online delivery services see their interests as conflicting with those of big business. A number of small tech companies feel their priorities conflicted with Big Tech’s agenda. Yelp’s public policy chief Luther Lowe believes large corporations have outgrown the services provided by such a group. “This organization could have saved itself years ago by kicking out everyone with a market cap over $ 500 billion,” he tweeted. Yelp left the association in 2019. “I made this suggestion to management a few years ago, but it was rejected, so we resigned.”
IA reported over $ 10 million in revenue in 2020. It lists 42 member companies on its website. IA’s annual membership fee is $ 1 million, with the association focusing almost exclusively on advocacy.
The contributions are calculated according to the size of the companies, according to the income. It is believed that Microsoft was no longer interested in paying these fees.
Interestingly, Microsoft escaped congressional censorship over the monopoly tendencies of all ten big companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google, whose representatives were called to hearings in July 2020.
Microsoft was the target of antitrust scrutiny in the early 2000s and changed its approach. It tends to work with regulators now. An internal memo written by Microsoft President Brad Smith on corporate strategy states: “There will be many days when some in the tech industry will complain loudly about the risks of regulation. The risks are real and they need to be heard fairly. But as a company, we will continue to focus more on adapting to regulation than fighting it. “
Amazon and Google spent money in Washington defending their interests. Microsoft has been there at the beginning
2000 and developed a clear strategy to manage scrutiny. According to OpenSecrets, a database based on Senate records. Amazon spent $ 15.3 million in the first three quarters of the year, compared to $ 9 million by Google and $ 7.8 million by Microsoft.
Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush, believes that Microsoft is seen as a significant contributor to their cause of antitrust scrutiny by other big companies in Silicon Valley. “If Microsoft remains indifferent to antitrust issues, Amazon and Google will be at a clear disadvantage, especially on the M&A front in 2022,” he said.
Andy Jassy, Amazon’s new CEO, is not happy that Microsoft has not been removed. “Andy Jassy is obsessed with Microsoft,” one person told the Financial Times. “His refrain internally was ‘they should go after Microsoft for always doing bad things.’
An Amazon-backed business group, cloud infrastructure service providers, is targeting Microsoft for non-competitive licensing deals for “enterprise software,” such as Microsoft’s Office suite. He says the EU’s proposed digital markets law would be a “historic failure” if it did not cover software providers. “Existing software vendors must be recognized as gatekeepers and these practices must be prohibited so that European companies are not forced to take costly and time-consuming legal actions to counter clearly anti-competitive practices,” the group said in a statement. communicated.
A study supported by Google by the Computer & Communications Industry Association in September said that 85 percent of productivity software used by US government agencies came from Microsoft. “The research report describes a number of consequences of the U.S. government’s over-reliance on a single vendor, including higher costs to taxpayers, less innovation than the private sector, and, most importantly, greater risk to the government. government for future cyber attacks and national security incidents.