A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.

Big Tech and antitrust: Pay attention to the math behind the curtain

It was the “Wizard of Oz” in digital format as the four titans of Big Tech testified via video before the House Antitrust Subcommittee. Just like in the movie, what the subcommittee saw was controlled by a force hidden from view. The wizard in this case—the reason these four companies are so powerful—is the math that takes our private information and turns it into their corporate asset. It is the 21st century equivalent of Rockefeller’s 20th century monopoly over oil. Unlike industrial assets such as oil, data is reusable. Data is also iterative, as its use in a product creates new data.

Lawmakers, United in Their Ire, Lash Out at Big Tech’s Leaders

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

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google Prepare for Their ‘Big Tobacco Moment’

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

Senator Hawley Introduces Bill to Remove Section 230 Immunity from Behavioral Advertisers

Sen Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced he will introduce the Behavioral Advertising Decisions Are Downgrading Services (BAD ADS) Act, a bill to remove Section 230 immunity from Big Tech companies that display manipulative, behavioral ads or provide data to be used for them. Sen Hawley’s bill would crack down on behavioral advertising’s negative effects, which include invasive data collection and user manipulation through design choices.

President Trump reportedly clashes with AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile over spam texts

President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is reportedly fighting cellphone carriers over the right to send Americans unsolicited texts. The campaign’s lawyers are in active talks with phone companies after a third-party screening tool blocked President Trump texts in early July. The campaign alleges that screening the texts amounts to suppressing political speech, while carriers fear allowing them will result in fines for violating anti-spam rules.

Searching for Video? Google Pushes YouTube Over Rivals

When choosing the best video clips to promote from around the web, Alphabet’s Google gives a secret advantage to one source in particular: itself. Or, more specifically, YouTube. Google executives in recent years made decisions to prioritize YouTube on the first page of search results, in part to drive traffic to YouTube rather than to competitors, and also to give YouTube more leverage in business deals with content providers seeking traffic for their videos. A Google spokeswoman, Lara Levin, said there is no preference given to YouTube or any other video provider in Google search.

Verizon Will Drop Certain 5G Ad Claims

National Advertising Division (NAD), an advertising self-regulatory monitor, claims that Verizon has agreed to discontinue claims in two TV ads about the speed and availability of its 5G wireless network.

The game is rigged: A former marketer shows you how Big Tech’s advertising practices harm us all

It appears the US Justice Department and a group of state attorneys general likely will file antitrust lawsuits against Alphabet Inc.’s Google for an array of anti-competitive practices in its search and 

Jim Steyer: the man who took on Mark Zuckerberg

"With more than two billion users Facebook is bigger than Christianity,” says Stanford law professor Jim Steyer. “Their ability to amplify hate speech or white supremacy or racist messages is so extraordinary because of the scale of the platform.” It’s a typically bold statement from the man who set up the Stop Hate for Profit (SHFP) campaign calling on advertisers to withdraw from Facebook for the month of July. More than 500 firms have joined the temporary boycott, including Coca-Cola, Adidas and Unilever.

Facebook’s Politics Aren’t Aging Well

They say it is best not to talk politics among friends. But in trying to avoid the conversation, Facebook has stepped right into the thick of it. Now, some of its most valuable relationships are at risk. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, Facebook has been no stranger to controversies ranging from election misinformation, security breaches, violent content and more.