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
Apparently, the Trump administration is pressuring Republican Senators to ratchet up scrutiny of social media companies it sees as biased against conservatives in the run-up to the Nov 2020 election. In recent weeks, the White House has pressed Senate Republican leaders on key committees to hold public hearings on the law that protects Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies from lawsuits over how they treat user posts. And action is following.
Big tech firms could be banned from preferencing their own services in search rankings or exclusively pre-installing their own applications on devices, under new regulations planned by the European Union.
Democratic lawmakers are expected to call on Congress to blunt the power of big technology companies, possibly through forced separation of online platforms. The House Antitrust Subcommittee is nearing completion of a report wrapping up its 15-month investigation of Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. The report follows the committee’s collection of more than one million documents from the companies and competitors, as well as a July hearing with CEOs of the four tech giants.
President Donald Trump’s ongoing assault against Twitter may represent the most egregious violation of the First Amendment by a president since Richard M. Nixon went to war against this newspaper almost half a century ago. Not since the McCarthy era has our country experienced such an effort to neuter the press and evade the government accountability that comes only through meaningful reporting. Consider what could lie ahead.
The only competitor challenging the growth of Google and Facebook's digital advertising dominance of late is Amazon. A years-long effort by major media companies to take on "the duopoly" has mostly fizzled out -- although media companies and activists have been successful in putting regulatory pressure on Google and Facebook, and that seems to be playing out in their favor, if ever so slightly.
A system Google set up to promote competition on Android has left some smaller search engines having trouble gaining traction, fueling rivals’ complaints about the tech giant’s compliance with a European Union antitrust decision ahead of potential US charges. Since March, Google has been showing people in Europe who set up new mobile devices running the company’s Android operating system what it calls a “choice screen,” a list of rival search engines that they can select as the device’s default.
The Federal Communications Commission could look very different next year, even if President Donald Trump is reelected. If President Trump wins a second term, industry observers believe the agency will push ahead with the administration's desire to reform a prized legal shield for content moderation on online platforms and remain focused on expanding rural broadband policies.
A host of companies, are challenging the way Apple runs its App Store. The App Store generates at least $15 billion in annual sales for the tech giant. Critics say Apple takes too big a cut of app makers’ sales and wields monopoly power over the gateway that connects hundreds of millions of users to mobile apps. Apple disputes that characterization, saying that it collects only a portion of sales from a small percentage of the almost 2 million apps available on the App Store and that its practices are in line with competitors’ app marketplaces.
For people who spend a lot of time on TikTok, the last few months have been surreal: a president with no presence on the platform has been agitating to ban it on the basis of national security.
On behalf of the Trump Administration, the Department of Justice sent draft legislation to Congress to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The draft legislative text implements reforms that the Department of Justice deemed necessary in its June Recommendations and follows a yearlong review of the statute. The legislation also executes President Trump’s directive from the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship.