AOL is one of 14 Internet giants joining forces to form the Internet Association, the first U.S. trade association for the Internet economy. The organization's member companies include Amazon.com, AOL, eBay, Expedia.com, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster Worldwide, Rackspace, Salesforce.com, TripAdvisor, Yahoo! and Zynga.

The association, which will serve as a unified voice in Washington for these diverse companies, also announced its policy platform: protecting Internet freedom, fostering innovation and economic growth and empowering users.

Tekedra Mawakana, who heads AOL's Public Policy team, serves as Chairman of the Internet Association. Over the past year, she helped lead the formation of the organization.

Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman said, "A free and open Internet is vital to our nation's economic growth. These companies are all fierce competitors in the marketplace," but "they understand the future of the Internet is at stake" and they must work together to protect it. He pointed out that the Internet is fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy and credited it with "unparalleled job creation" and innovation.