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

President Trump vetoes $740 Billion defense bill, citing “failure to terminate” Section 230

President Donald Trump has vetoed funding for the US military because the massive defense spending bill did not include a provision to repeal Section 230 which grants Internet service providers, including online platforms, broad immunity from being held legally liable for content third-party users share and grants those same services legal immunity from the decisions they make around content moderation. The National Defense Authorization Act would have authorized $740 billion in defense spending for the upcoming government fisc

Google, Facebook Agreed to Team Up Against Possible Antitrust Action, Draft Lawsuit Says

Facebook and Google agreed to “cooperate and assist one another” if they ever faced an investigation into their pact to work together in online advertising, according to an unredacted version of a lawsuit filed by 10 states against Google. Ten Republican attorneys general, led by Texas, are alleging that the two companies cut a deal in September 2018 in which Facebook agreed not to compete with Google’s online advertising tools in return for special treatment

Facebook Shares New 2020 Election Report With Biden, Trump Teams

Facebook told lawmakers it blocked or removed 265,000 posts for violating the social network’s policies against voter interference and rejected 3.3 million ad submissions as part of its effort to protect the recent US elections against misinformation and foreign influence. The action was cited in a 22-page report summarizing the company’s election work that was distributed Dec 18 to a wide array of members of Congress as well as officials in the outgoing Trump administration and incoming team of President-elect Joe Biden.

Google’s Legal Peril Grows in Face of Third Antitrust Suit

More than 30 states added to Google’s mushrooming legal woes, accusing the company of illegally arranging its search results to push out smaller rivals. The bipartisan group of state prosecutors said in a lawsuit that Google downplayed websites that let users search for information in specialized areas like home repair services and travel reviews. The prosecutors also accused the company of using exclusive deals with phone makers like Apple to prioritize Google’s search service over rivals like Firefox and DuckDuckGo.

European Commission clears acquisition of Fitbit by Google, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Fitbit by Google. The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Google. The decision follows an in-depth investigation of the proposed transaction, which combines Google's and Fitbit's complementary activities. Fitbit has a limited market share in Europe in the fast-growing smartwatch segment where many larger competitors are present, such as Apple, Garmin and Samsung.

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.