Amazon.com is continuing to push for an Internet sales tax, which has been a major point of contention among both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Amazon recently renewed a contract with Patton Boggs to lobby for the Marketplace Fairness Act, a Senate bill introduced in the last Congress that would have given states the authority to require remote sellers like Amazon and eBay to collect sales tax on goods sold online. The Seattle-based retailer retained Patton Boggs in November and paid the firm $130,000 last year to lobby on the bill, but the activity was not reported until late January, the deadline to submit lobbying activity for the previous quarter. The Marketplace Fairness Act, which did not pass, has yet to be reintroduced in the current Congress. Amazon was joined by Target and Wal-Mart in support of the bill; eBay and Overstock.com have opposed it.
Urban Outfitters is venturing into federal lobbying for the first time. The Philadelphia-based fashion retailer hired Abraham & Roetzel in late January to lobby on federal policy involving economic and urban development, according to lobbying registration records. The three lobbyists are the firm’s president Bob Carey, former legislative director for Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.); Lou Crocco, a former senior staffer in the Pennsylvania House; and Kimberly Contino, a former staffer in the Pennsylvania Senate. Neither Carey nor a spokeswoman for Urban Outfitters returned requests for comment.