Platforms

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

Nokia partners with Broadband.money to help connect US communities

 Nokia has partnered with Ready.net – makers of the Broadband.money platform – to help local broadband providers connect unserved and underserved communities. Nokia will provide tutorials, blueprint network designs, grant expertise, and equipment planning tools for inclusion in Broadband.money’s portal. Nokia will add its expertise and market-leading innovation to the platform, accessible to users in the form of tutorials, blueprint network designs, and tools to help work out the equipment they will need, further simplifying the grant application process.

What tech competition means to Capitol Hill

The word "competition" has a different meaning in Washington (DC) and other centers of regulation around the globe than it does in Silicon Valley. Industry leaders view acquiring startups, keeping customers inside their existing ecosystems, and trying to dominate new platforms as part of the natural process of business competition.

To trace Big Tech competition, follow the money

How Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft make their revenue today shapes the battles they will fight tomorrow. For years, the largest tech companies each had their own fiefdom where they garnered the lion's share of revenue and profits. While tech companies competed at the edges, the market was big enough that each had plenty of green fields to expand into. They might step on each other's toes, but they took pains — and sometimes struck deals — to steer clear of the others' core businesses.

Tech's competition game change

In most businesses, competition means several rivals are fighting to win a prize — typically, the customer's dollar. Most tech companies still view themselves as engaged in fierce competition. They're just going after a wider and more complex set of prizes.

Facebook parent Meta settles suit in Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook corporate parent Meta has reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit alleging the world’s largest social network service allowed millions of its users’ personal information to be fed to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that supported Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign in 2016. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed in court documents filed Aug 26. The filing in San Francisco federal court requested a 60-day stay of the action while lawyers finalize the settlement. That timeline suggested further details could be disclosed by late October.

Meta Signs $37.5 Million Deal Over Facebook Location Tracking

Meta Platforms signed a $37.5 million class settlement with Facebook users who say the platform continued tracking their locations after they turned off location services on their devices, according to a filing in San Francisco federal court. The settlement by the US District Court for the Northern District of California covered about 70 million US residents who used Facebook between Jan. 30, 2015 and April 18, 2018 and who turned off the location services setting for the Facebook application on their iOS or Android devices.

Cox Enterprises scoops up Axios for $525 million

Cox Communications parent company Cox Enterprises inked a deal to acquire well-known news outlet Axios for more than half a billion dollars, in a move the former pitched as part of an effort to diversify its business. As part of the transaction, Cox Enterprises CEO Alex Taylor will join Axios’ board. Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will lead editorial operations and retain “substantial stakes” in the company.

Texas Cities Sue Streaming Services for Franchise Fees

Two dozen Texas cities have sued streaming giants Netflix, Hulu and Disney Direct-to-Consumer for not paying what the municipalities said are the millions in franchise fees that the streaming services owe them. A favorable decision could lead to millions more from other cities seeking more funds for municipal services. The cities are alleging that the streamers should be paying annual franchise fees back to 2007, as they said is required by the Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA). Those are the fees that cable/broadband operators provide that go toward city services.

Broadband Providers Tell FCC To Reject Fuse Diversity Data Petition

Broadband providers are telling the Federal Communications Commission in no uncertain terms to reject calls by cable programmer Fuse Media and public advocacy groups to mandate that those providers collect data on the diversity of the video content vendors they buy programming from, including for their owned or affiliated streaming services which, they point out, are not regulated by the FCC.

Misleading Information and the Midterms

Since 2020, misinformation and disinformation related to election and voter suppression have continued to spread at a growing rate across online platforms. While internet platforms ramped up attempts to combat such information during the 2020 elections, many of these efforts appear to have been temporary measures. In anticipation of the 2022 US midterm elections, this report evaluates how online platforms are combating misleading election information against a selection of recommendations made by the Open Technology Institute in 2020.