A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.

New America to FCC: Broadband Nutrition Labels Are Mandatory

New America's Open Technology Institute (OTI) wants to nip in the bud any suggestion the Federal Communications Commission may be making that the congressionally mandated broadband nutrition label is voluntary. The FCC plans to vote at its January 27 open meeting on implementing the requirement in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that broadband internet access service providers be required to provide broadband service consumer labels that let consumers know what speed and quality of service they are getting at which price and with what fees attached.

Zuckerberg and Google CEO approved deal to carve up ad market, states allege in court

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai personally approved a secret deal that gave the social network a leg up in the search giant’s online advertising auctions, attorneys for Texas and other states alleged in newly unsealed court filings.

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.

Sen Warren Calls on DOJ and SEC to Open Criminal and Civil Investigations into Facebook

Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to United States Attorney General Merrick Garland and Gary Gensler, Chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC to open criminal and civil investigations into Facebook to determine if the company or its executives violated US wire fraud and securities laws.

Strategic Organizing Center Issues Complaint to FTC Against Amazon for Unlawful Deception

The Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission "alleging [Amazon] is unlawfully deceiving millions of consumers." According to the complaint, Amazon is doing so by "failing to 'clearly and conspicuously' disclose which of its search engine results are paid advertisements rather than 'organic' search results." SOC stated it has conducted an analysis of over 130,000 Amazon product search results and found that the company was "substantially or entirely out of compliance with all the FTC's specific guidelines for the visual identification of online

Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.

EU Lawmakers Pass Strict New Rules Affecting Big US Tech

The lead committee in the European Parliament writing new tech rules passed measures that could impact major US and European tech companies. Lawmakers voted to approve measures in the draft Digital Markets Act that could mean: 

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Bolster Transparency of Political Advertising

Reps Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and John Yarmuth (D-KY) introduced the Fair and Clear Campaign (FCC) Transparency Act (H.R.5897) to require the Federal Communications Commission to modernize reporting requirements related to political advertising aired by broadcasters by making reports machine-readable. The FCC currently requires TV and radio broadcast stations to publicly report broadcast time sold or given away for political advertising.

Wireless Carriers Are Winning 5G Customers for the Wrong Reason

Investment bank Morgan Stanley published the results of its ninth annual broadband and wireless survey on Oct 18. Among the findings were that only 4% of respondents cited “innovative technology” such as 5G as an important factor in their choice of service. That number was unchanged from the previous year’s survey—despite an unremitting onslaught of marketing from wireless carriers and device makers for the next-gen wireless standard. Customers appear to be driven more by old-fashion promotions than cutting-edge technology.

How Many Users Does Facebook Have? The Company Struggles to Figure It Out

Facebook is struggling to detect and deal with users’ creating multiple accounts on its flagship platform, according to internal documents that raise new questions about how the social-media giant measures its audience. An internal Facebook presentation in spring 2021 called the phenomenon of single users with multiple accounts “very prevalent” among new accounts. The finding came after an examination of roughly 5,000 recent sign-ups on the service indicated that at least 32 percent and as many as 56 percent were opened by existing users.