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

States Allege Google Cut Deal With Facebook to Rig Online Ad Market

A coalition of state attorneys general sued Google, accusing the search giant of operating an illegal digital-advertising monopoly, in part thanks to an auction-rigging deal with rival Facebook. The complaint, filed in US District Court in Texas, alleges that Facebook emerged in 2017 as a powerful new rival to the Alphabet unit’s established dominance in the market for online advertising.

Outstanding Issues at the FCC

As the tenure of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and his deregulatory Republican majority winds down, DC policy watchers are looking for action on some big issues yet to be resolved one way or the other.

Chairman Pai Remarks to the Media Institute

Content is moving online and the government needs to keep pace. This accelerating shift toward Internet-based platforms is transforming the media marketplace, and the regulatory framework must change accordingly.  In 2020, for example, Google and Facebook are each expected to bring in more ad revenue than every TV and radio station in the U.S. combined.

Europe fit for the Digital Age: European Commission proposes new rules for digital platforms

The European Commission proposed an ambitious reform of the digital space, a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms that operate in the European Union: the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. Under the Digital Services Act, binding EU-wide obligations will apply to all digital services that connect consumers to goods, services, or content, including new procedures for faster

Google Dominates Thanks to an Unrivaled View of the Web

In 2000, just two years after it was founded, Google reached a milestone that would lay the foundation for its dominance over the next 20 years: It became the world’s largest search engine, with an index of more than one billion web pages. The rest of the internet never caught up, and Google’s index just kept on getting bigger.

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission announces decision in Twitter inquiry

The Data Protection Commission (DPC)  announced a conclusion to a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) investigation it conducted into Twitter International. The DPC’s investigation commenced in January 2019 following receipt of a breach notification from Twitter and the DPC has found that Twitter infringed Article 33(1) and 33(5) of the GDPR in terms of a failure to notify the breach on time to the DPC and a failure to adequately document the breach. The DPC has imposed an administrative fine of €450,000 on Twitter as an effective, proportionate and dissuasive measure.

FTC Issues Orders to Nine Social Media and Video Streaming Services Seeking Data About How They Collect, Use, and Present Information

The Federal Trade Commission is issuing orders to nine social media and video streaming companies, requiring them to provide data on how they collect, use, and present personal information, their advertising and user engagement practices, and how their practices affect children and teens. The FTC is issuing the orders under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the FTC to conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose.

Commissioner O'Rielly: People 'Missing the Debate' on Section 230

Outgoing-Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly participated in his final FCC meeting Dec 10 before Nathan Simington is sworn in to take his seat as one of the agency’s Republican commissioners. Although there were many appreciative send-offs, the departing commissioner also touched on the hot-button tech issue that likely led to President Donald Trump killing his renomination this past summer: Section 230.

FCC Commissioner Carr urges lame-duck agency action to clip Section 230

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr suggested that the agency should jam through rules to limit tech's liability shield before President Donald Trump leaves office.

Apple and Google to Stop X-Mode From Collecting Location Data From Users’ Phones

Apple and Google will ban the data broker X-Mode Social from collecting any location information drawn from mobile devices running their operating systems in the wake of revelations about the company’s national-security work. The two largest mobile-phone platforms told developers that they must remove X-Mode’s tracking software from any app present in their app stores or risk losing access to any phones running Apple’s or Google’s mobile operating systems. Both Apple and Google disclosed their decision to ban X-Mode to investigators working for Sen.