Break Up Big Tech? Some Say Not So Fast

For years, the US government stood by as big tech companies like Facebook and Google growth hacked and gobbled up competitors on their way to dominance, with barely a mention of “anticompetitive” concerns. But that lax attitude is changing. Word continued to leak this week about possible antitrust investigations by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, who reportedly divvied up companies like a couple might divide household chores. (The DOJ calls dibs on Google and Apple, while the FTC gets Facebook and Amazon.) House Democrats, meanwhile, are launching an antitrust probe of their own over competition in the tech industry more broadly. It’s too soon to tell whether any of this activity will lead to meaningful regulation, or …

The New Antitrust Scrutiny Should Worry Silicon Valley

Many Americans think Big Tech and Silicon Valley have too much power and need to be reigned in. Six weeks ago, it was hard to believe Washington had the political will to do much about that. Facebook had just said it would take a charge of up to $5 billion for an expected Federal Trade Commission fine related to its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The reaction: Facebook’s stock jumped 6 percent to its highest price in nine months. The potential fine seemed manageable; Facebook has reported more than $5 billion in profit in some quarters. Investors concluded that regulators would, at most, give the company a hard slap on the wrist. Americans are used to Washington punting on …

CFIUS Cometh: What this obscure agency does and why it matters to your fund or startup

Evan J. Zimmerman Image via Getty Images / Busà Photography CFIUS is the most important agency you’ve never heard of, and until recently it wasn’t even more than a committee. In essence, CFIUS has the ability to stop foreign entities, called “covered entities,” from acquiring companies when it could adversely affect national security—a “covered transaction.” Once a filing is made, CFIUS investigates the transaction and both parties, which can take over a month in its first pass. From there, the company and CFIUS enter a negotiation to see if they can resolve any issues. Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Big Tech: Breaking Us Up Will Only Help China

Over the past week, both Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt made the same appeal to American nationalism, with differing degrees of subtlety: Breaking up Big Tech will only help China. It’s a politically expedient plea as calls for regulating tech intensify amid growing concern about China’s tech prowess and an escalating US-China trade war. But the argument rests on the idea that what’s good for Facebook and Google is good for America. It also ignores how Silicon Valley is simultaneously seeking growth through partnerships with some of those same Chinese competitors, such as Google’s investment in JD.com and reported talks with Tencent to bring Google Cloud to China. Sandberg made her case against …

The EU Hits Google With a Third Billion-Dollar Fine. So What?

European officials Wednesday fined Google €1.49 billion ($1.7 billion) for more than a decade of abusive practices in how it brokered online ads for other websites like newspapers, blogs, and travel aggregators. This is the third billion-dollar antitrust penalty levied against Google by the European Commission, which has fined the company more than $9 billion for anticompetitive practices since 2017. Some critics were quick to point out that the fines don’t seem to have eroded Google’s dominance. But the reaction also shows how much the debate around antitrust has intensified in just a few years, from fear that enforcement would stifle innovation to concern that even massive fines provide an insufficient check on dominant tech giants. As part of Commissioner …

How Google Influences the Conversation in Washington

A few days after last year’s midterm election, a Google policy manager and lobbyist sent an email to a congressional staffer with a link to a blog post on the right-wing news site Red State, written under the name The Real DC. In the post, the author accuses Google’s competitor Yelp of prodding President Trump to tweet a “professionally designed” video about Google’s alleged bias, which The Real DC calls “fake news” because it “bears many similarities” to content produced by Yelp. In the email, a copy of which was viewed by WIRED, Ed An, the Google lobbyist, said he does not typically share articles from Red State but thought the staffer would find this one interesting. Neither Red State, …