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

Civil-Society Groups Call on Twitter’s Top-20 Advertisers to Demand that Elon Musk Fulfill His Promise to Safeguard Their Brands and Protect Users

More than 40 civil-society groups called on Twitter’s top-20 advertisers to inform Elon Musk that they will suspend all advertising on the platform if he follows through on plans to undermine the social network’s community standards and content moderation.

Senator Murphy (D-CT) Requests Review of Foreign Stake in Acquisition of Twitter, Inc.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) requesting an immediate investigation into the potential national security concerns arising from the recent takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk and a number of foreign private investors, including members of the Saudi Arabian royal family and the kingdom of Qatar. Senator Murphy called attention to Saudi Arabia’s repression of free speech and political dissent inside and outside of the Kingdom’s borders, including the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

CBO Scores Ending Platform Monopolies Act

The Ending Platform Monopolies Act (H.R. 3825) would restrict some business activities for large online platforms. Specifically, the bill would prohibit large online platforms from using their platforms to sell goods and services from other lines of business that the platform owns and operates; requires business users to purchase products or services from the platform to obtain access to or preferred placement on the platform, or operating lines of business that create of interest. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the following effects:

US tech giants face pressure from Europe’s telecommunications companies to pay for building the internet

In Europe, the battle between US Big Tech companies and telecommunications firms has reached a fever pitch. Telecom groups are pushing European regulators to consider implementing a framework where the companies that send traffic along their networks are charged a fee to help fund mammoth upgrades to their infrastructure, something known as the “sender pays” principle. Their logic is that certain platforms, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, chew through gargantuan amounts of data and should therefore foot part of the bill for adding new capacity to cope with the increased strain.

Big Tech Seeks Supreme Court Review of Online 'Must-Carry' Law

Computer companies and edge providers are asking the US Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue of whether state governments can impose what the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) is branding "must-carry" for online platforms and a "road map" for those wishing to fill the internet with offensive content edge providers would have to carry. Cable operators have long been subject to must-carry rules governing carriage of broadcast stations, carriage those operators have also argued is compelled speech that violates the First Amendment.

White House rallies industry support for Internet of Things labeling effort

White House officials convened industry leaders, policy experts and government leaders to discuss plans for security and privacy standards on connected devices.

Rich conservatives fund new media universe

Many of the new, conservative apps haven't grown to the point where they can meaningfully rival companies like TikTok or Instagram, but collectively, they have begun to create a new environment for conservative voices. A new Pew Research Center study found that 15% of users of alternative social networks like Getty, Telegram, and Truth Social have been banned from at least one mainstream platform. In August 2022, following the FBI's execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, downloads across 10 alternative apps hit nearly 1 million collectively.

Don't Discount the Investments in Internet Infrastructure that Content and Application Providers are Making

Should network usage fees be imposed on content and application providers to support internet infrastructure? New research from Analysys Mason shows such a mandate would be harmful to end users and the global internet ecosystem.

First-In-The-Nation Digital Ad Tax Struck Down By Maryland Judge

The first-in-the-nation digital advertising tax in Maryland is no more after less than two years in practice. The tax was struck down in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court after Judge Alison Asti sided with subsidiaries of Comcast and Verizon, finding that the policy violated the First Amendment, the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and the Dormant Commerce Clause. By only taxing advertising when it is served digitally, the tax discriminated against e-commerce and violated the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act, Judge Asti said. He also ruled the tax violated the Dormant Commerce Clause—which pro

Silicon Valley's Rep Ro Khanna offers a midterm warning

Although Rep Ro Khanna (D-CA)'s district includes a wide swath of the tech industry's homes in towns like Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Santa Clara, and Fremont, he is an advocate for laws that would curb Big Tech's power. Among the restrictions Rep Khanna favors would expand privacy protections beyond California's existing law as well as a change in antitrust law that would shift the burden of proof in large deals, requiring the acquiring company to prove a deal won't hurt competition. Members of Congress have proposed new bills around privacy and antitrust and children's online safety, but so far