ITAA, AEA open merger talks

The Information Technology Association of America and the AEA, formerly the American Electronics Association, have entered into talks on a possible merger.

"This is obviously part of a larger movement of consolidation in the technology association space," said Charles Greenwald, vice president of communications at ITAA. A merger "will make a difference in how industry can interact with its partners in government."

The boards of directors are in discussion to merge the memberships and programs, an ITAA statement today said. The merger "would give rise to a stronger voice for the technology industry by bringing together the largest number of tech companies in the country, and combining the two associations' highly complementary offerings."

A combined organization would have offices throughout the United States, and in Beijing and Brussels.

"AeA's network of regional councils combined with ITAA's alliances with over 40 regional associations through the Technology Councils of North America and ITAA's membership in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) ? a network of 69 technology associations in countries around the world ? would complete a robust, grassroots-to-global presence for the technology industry at large," the statement said.

"Together we would be the national technology association, unrivaled in size and clout," said ITAA Chairman Hank Steininger, managing partner at Grant Thornton LLP, said in the news release. "Our goal is a merger of equals...With a new Administration and Congress on the horizon in Washington, it's critical for the industry to present a united front."

"Convergence, consolidation, and the change brewing in Washington require us to speak with a louder, clearer voice," added AeA Chair Deirdre Hanford, senior vice president of global technical services at Synopsys Inc.

In January, ITAA and the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association voted to merge their memberships and programs.

Also in January, the Professional Services Council merged with the Contract Services Association.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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