Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market
In my previous post, I highlighted four reasons why the U.S needs a unified policy framework for an open Internet ecosystem: 1) lack of competition/incentive and the ability to discriminate; 2) collection of and control over personal data; 3) lack of transparency; and 4) inadequacy of current laws and enforcement. Many of these problems can be addressed with targeted legislative and regulatory interventions.
[Analysis] In a new article for the Georgetown Law Technology Review, I seek to jumpstart a conversation about how to shape an Internet ecosystem that will serve the public interest. First, let me lay out the rationale for a new, unified policy framework for an open Internet: 1) Lack of Competition/Incentive and Ability to Discriminate, 2) Collection of and Control over Personal Data, 3) Lack of Transparency, and 4) Inadequacy of Current Laws and Enforcement.
As Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai gets ready to consider President Donald Trump’s controversial social media executive order, there is one person’s opinion he should probably take into consideration: his own. Chairman Pai has tried to define his tenure at the head of the agency as being against “heavy-handed” regulation and has promoted a “light-touch” approach to regulation industry. And yet he seems to be totally fine with the FCC jumping headfirst into government regulation with President Donald Trump’s controversial social media executive order.
A growing number of legal experts and economists have started questioning whether traditional antitrust is up to the task of addressing the competitive concerns raised by today’s digital behemoths. Further help, they said, is needed. Antitrust cases typically proceed at the stately pace of the courts, with trials and appeals that can drag on for years. Those delays, the legal experts and economists said, would give Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple a free hand to become even more entrenched in the markets they dominate. A more rapid-response approach is required, they said.
The policy issues raised by the debate over Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 may be complex, but the Federal Communications Commission’s legal authority is straightforward. Simply put, the FCC has the authority to interpret all provisions of the Communications Act, including amendments such as Section 230. This authority flows from the plain meaning of Section 201(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, which confers on the FCC the power to issue rules necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act.
Reps Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ-7) introduced the Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act, legislation to hold large social media platforms accountable for their algorithmic amplification of harmful, radicalizing content that leads to offline violence. The bill narrowly amends Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to remove liability immunity for a platform if its algorithm is used to amplify or recommend content directly relevant to a case involving interference with civil rights (42 U.S.C.
The hearing will examine whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has outlived its usefulness in today’s digital age. It will also examine legislative proposals to modernize the decades-old law, increase transparency and accountability among big technology companies for their content moderation practices, and explore the impact of large ad-tech platforms on local journalism and consumer privacy.
More antitrust cases are likely to be filed against Google soon by state attorneys general, even though partisan-tinged wrangling has clouded the path forward. At least two separate though overlapping groups of attorneys general are investigating the company concurrently. One effort, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) focuses on online advertising and could lead to a lawsuit being filed within weeks.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google reveals new details about a secretive, multibillion-dollar deal between Google and Apple. The suit targets paid deals Google negotiates to get its search engine to be the default on browsers, phones and other devices. The biggest of these is an agreement that makes Google search the default on iPhones and other Apple devices. The Justice Department said Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai met in 2018 to discuss the deal.