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

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.

FTC and states sue Facebook as an illegal monopoly, setting stage for potential breakup

The Federal Trade Commission and 48 state attorneys general filed wide-ranging antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, setting the stage for a potential breakup of the social-networking giant over charges it engaged in illegal, anti-competitive tactics to buy, bully or kill its rivals. The twin lawsuits filed in federal district court chiefly challenge Facebook’s past acquisition of two companies: Instagram, a photo-sharing tool, and WhatsApp, a messaging service.

Showdown looms over digital services tax

A fight over foreign countries' efforts to tax big American tech companies' digital services is likely to come to a head in January just as Joe Biden takes office. Governments have failed to reach a broad multilateral agreement on how to structure such taxes.

Facebook to Buy Kustomer, Startup Valued at $1 Billion

Facebook said it would buy Kustomer, a startup that specializes in customer-service platforms and chatbots, part of an effort by the social-media giant to help companies use its platforms to do business. Though terms weren’t disclosed, people familiar with the matter said it would value New York-based Kustomer at a little over $1 billion. Closely held Kustomer, whose technology takes conversations from different channels and puts them on a single screen, was valued at $710 million in a private funding round roughly a year ago, according to PitchBook.

Late complication tangles FTC’s decision on suing Facebook

A looming vacancy on the Federal Trade Commission has created a dilemma for the agency as it decides how to pursue its expected antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, contributing to a delay in the launch of the case.

What Biden needs to do to regulate the Internet both at home and worldwide

The president-elect is in a position to do for the Web, both worldwide and here at home, what his predecessor has not. There is ample room for regulating the online realm domestically, though doing so may first require cooperating with a divided Congress.

Social Media’s Liability Shield Is Under Assault

The law that enabled the rise of social media and other internet businesses is facing threats unlike anything in its 24-year history, with potentially significant consequences for websites that host user content.

Where the youngest new faces coming to Congress stand on tech

Eleven new lawmakers under the age of 45 were elected to the 117th Congress,  joining other under-45s leading on tech issues, including Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). Here’s what to know about some of the newcomers’ views on and ties to tech:

Members of Congress finding agreement on a tech antitrust agenda

House Democrats and Republicans are finding common ground on a set of principles for countering tech monopolies that they believe could drive a bipartisan push in the new Congress to update antitrust law. Representatives from both parties are finding it easier to agree on antitrust policy ideas than on proposals about content moderation and liability, where the two parties