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

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.

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.