The Internet Association, a trade group backed by online businesses including Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google Inc., officially launched Sept. 19 with a promise to advocate in Washington, D.C., for a “free and innovative” Internet. “A free and innovative Internet is vital to our nation’s economic growth,” says Michael Beckerman, the group’s president and CEO.
Cheap computers and Internet connections have helped people get online in greater numbers in recent years. Now Barry Diller’s IAC/InteractiveCorp wants to make money by helping minority groups connect more easily to specific sites. IAC last week introduced a new search engine, Rushmore Drive, meant to give the black audience a quick way to find information that other search engines — including IAC’s own Ask.com — might bury beneath pages of less relevant results. The strategy will eventually extend to other ethnic groups, in what analysts said is the latest stab at diminishing Google’s dominance in the search market.