Emily Birnbaum

How big tech defeated the biggest antitrust push in decades on Capitol Hill

A passionate and bipartisan legislative effort to rein in the country’s largest technology companies collapsed this week, the victim of an epic lobbying campaign by Amazon, Apple, Google, and Meta. The internet titans spent hundreds of millions of dollars, sent their chief executives to Washington, and deployed trade groups and sympathetic scholars to quash two antitrust bills co-sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and Sen. Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

FTC Commissioner Phillips Steps Down, Leaves Agency With Republican Vacancy

Federal Trade Commissioner Noah Phillips stepped down from his position Oct 14, leaving a Republican vacancy at the antitrust and consumer protection agency. Phillips, a former Senate staffer, joined the agency in May 2018.

Prospects rise for an FCC competition authority

Brendan Carr, the senior Republican commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, said he welcomes what he’s seeing in the

Commerce Secretary Raimondo to testify before the Senate on broadband infrastructure funding implementation

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will testify February 1 before Senate appropriators about how to implement the $48 billion in broadband dollars that the infrastructure law slated for her department. The session will take place before the panel’s Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee, which Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) chairs. Shaheen was one of the lead negotiators who put together the law’s $65 billion for broadband, in tandem with Raimondo and Sen Susan Collins (R-ME), who also sits on this subcommittee.

What Justice Breyer’s departure could mean for tech

During his time on the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer authored and signed onto a slew of significant antitrust and regulation opinions that loom large over the cases against Facebook and Google today. His departure from the bench will mean the loss of serious antitrust expertise — a development that will sadden some traditionalists and cheer progressive antitrust activists that say change is long overdue. Breyer’s views on corporate power shifted somewhat over the years, but antitrust experts point to his decision to sign onto Justice Antonin Scalia’s 2004 opinion in Verizon v.

Companies push for meeting about US and EU antitrust agendas with Commerce Secretary Raimondo

So far the bulk of the anger towards Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo over her skepticism about EU tech regulations has come from civil society groups, but the business community is now mobilizing. A coalition of eight companies, including Yelp, Genius, Felt, Patreon, Beeper and REX, wrote that they support the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services Act, the two EU rules Raimondo slammed during a recent US Chamber of Commerce event.

GSA Chief Shepherds President Biden's Government Modernization Efforts

General Services Administration (GSA) head Robin Carnahan is shepherding one of President Joe Biden’s most expansive government modernization efforts: fixing up its creaky, fragmented computer systems. She envisions a future in which people can access programs like food stamps and rental assistance as easily as they can order a pair of shoes. “We know that good policy gets sunk regularly if tech doesn’t work,” Carnahan said.

Progressives want Rep Lofgren to recuse herself from oversight of DOJ and FTC due to Silicon Valley ties

In a letter to Democratic leadership, the watchdog group Revolving Door Project is demanding Rep Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) recuse herself from oversight over the Justice Department (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because of her financial investments in large tech companies, as well as recent r

A New Chapter for the Interactive Advertising Bureau

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a massive trade group that represents companies on all sides of the digital ads ecosystem, is about to get a whole lot more involved in tech policy discussions on Capitol Hill. IAB has tapped Lartease Tiffith, an Amazon public policy executive and former aide to Vice President Kamala Harris, to lead its policy shop. And Tiffith plans to make the group’s presence known.

President Biden’s big bill is dead. What tech provisions might live on?

Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) stunned the White House and sent many in Washington (DC) scrambling by crushing Democrats’ chances of passing the House version of President Joe Biden’s massive social spending bill, the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. Now Senate Democrats are scheming about what elements might survive if they can assemble a more Manchin-friendly bill, including a number of tech provisions.