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Group takes on tech regulation

A group of technology companies joins forces to combat what it considers undue government interference in the high-tech industry.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
2 min read
A group of technology companies has joined forces to combat what it considers undue government interference in the high-tech industry, arguing that recent actions against Microsoft and Intel are "symptomatic of the growing trend toward government over-regulation of technology."

Dubbed the Technology Access Action Coalition, the group includes businesses, organizations, and individual citizens. According to its Web site, its members include Microsoft, CompUSA, Vanstar, PC Connection, MicroAge, Corporate Software & Technology, and CompTIA, among others.

The convening of the group marks the latest example of high-tech groups banding together in a lobbying effort. "If the government continues down its current path, the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the technology industry will be severely jeopardized," Jay Amato, chairman of the group and president of Vanstar, said in a statement.

The Technology Access Action Coalition has bold ambition--to have more than 2 million members "from every congressional district in the country" by 2001. According to the Technology Access Action Coalition Web site, membership is free--both for businesses and individuals.

The group's offices are in Washington, D.C.

The idea behind the group came from a meeting of about 30 resellers who "shared a concern about the increasingly large regulatory shadow being cast upon industry by government."

House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) weighed in on government regulation of Microsoft in specific today, the Associated Press reported. Commenting at a fund-raiser for Rep. Rick White (R-WA) held just a few miles from Microsoft's headquarters in suburban Redmond, Washington, he argued that the DOJ should focus on more important priorities than its probe of Microsoft.

"There are a range of opportunities for the Justice Department other than trying to destroy jobs at one of America's leading companies and trying to weaken America's role in the world market," he said. "The purpose of the American government is to strengthen American companies in the world market and increase American exports in the world market, not to undermine American companies."