San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo resigned from the Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, alleging that the committee is dealing internet service providers "a very favorable hand” of policy recommendations. "It has become abundantly clear that despite the good intentions of several participants, the industry-heavy makeup of BDAC will simply relegate the body to being a vehicle for advancing the interests of the telecommunications industry over those of the public,” said Mayor Liccardo.
The chief executives of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook -- four tech giants worth nearly $5 trillion combined -- faced withering questions from Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike for the tactics and market dominance that had made their enterprises successful. For more than five hours, the 15 members of an antitrust panel in the House lobbed questions and repeatedly interrupted and talked over Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of
After lawmakers collected hundreds of hours of interviews and obtained more than 1.3 million documents about Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, their chief executives will testify before Congress on July 29 to defend their powerful businesses from the hammer of government. The captains of the New Gilded Age — Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google — will appear together before Congress for the first time to justify their business pract
For the last few months, some people who bought a new smartphone in Europe with Google’s Android software were presented with an extra option while setting up the device: choosing a search engine other than Google. This so-called choice menu started appearing on new smartphones and tablet computers running Google software after March, part of an effort by the internet giant to address a 2018 ruling from European authorities that the company had abused its dominance in smartphone software to unfairly give an advantage to its search engine.
Internet providers like Charter and Comcast have introduced offers of free and low-cost internet with great fanfare in the last several weeks. The companies have said they want to help connect poor Americans during a pandemic that has shifted much of life online. Schools and community organizations have aggressively promoted the offers. Scores of customers have tried to sign up. But people signing up for the programs have encountered unexpected difficulties and roadblocks, according to interviews with people who have tried to sign up or who have helped them.
The Senate Antitrust Subcommittee pressed top antitrust regulators to aggressively investigate the power of the country’s biggest tech companies, with some lawmakers questioning whether the officials had the will or resources to take on Silicon Valley’s richest businesses. The lawmakers pushed for assurances that the agencies would provide vigorous oversight of the companies. But the regulators — Joe Simons, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Makan Delrahim, the top antitrust official at the Justice Department — offered few details about their inquiries into the industry.
The backlash against giant tech companies is stressing the public institutions tasked with examining their power, as participants, observers and critics question whether regulators have the skill, will and authority to check corporate forces. The machinery of antitrust regulation will process the broader conversation about tech's role in society through the mill of American politics and law — and some wonder whether it's up to the task.
Tensions over 5G have come to a head within the Trump administration, prompting Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to convene a high-level White House meeting to hammer out policy disputes between government agencies.
A proliferation of antitrust investigations into the tech giants is offering competitors a chance to sound off on claims that their larger rivals are playing dirty. If the Department of Justice or Federal Trade Commission pursue formal investigations into Google, Facebook, Amazon or Apple, they’ll need all the evidence they can get. The companies that compete with them could provide that by the ton. But, speaking up can come at a cost to smaller companies, including angering the powerful corporate giants and signaling to investors that you might go under without government intervention.