Dan talks about D.C.'s growing antipathy toward big tech with Dean Garfield, who is stepping down as CEO of the IT Industry Council in order to lead global policy for Netflix. How did we get here, and what comes next?
Stories by Dan Primack
Pokémon Go maker Niantic valued at $4 billion ahead of Harry Potter game
Niantic, the mobile AR game-maker behind Pokémon Go, raised $245 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of nearly $4 billion.
Why it matters: Because this comes ahead of Niantic's anticipated release of a Harry Potter-themed game, further blurring the value line between tech and legacy brand content.
Details: IVP led, and was joined by aXiomatic Gaming, Battery Ventures, Causeway Media Partners, CRV and Samsung Ventures.
- Related: Jam City, a Los Angeles-based mobile game-maker with its own Harry Potter hit on the market, yesterday announced $145 million in new financing.
The bottom line: "Niantic will use its new capital to accelerate staffing for initiatives such as the Niantic Real World Platform, the engine that powers the company's current slate of titles that utilize AR into their gameplay. ... Niantic also promised that the platform will eventually be made widely available to developers around the world," reports Patrick Shanley in the Hollywood Reporter.
Barr confirmation hearing highlights Big Tech antitrust fears
U.S. Attorney General nominee Bill Barr was asked repeatedly about antitrust issues as they may relate to big technology companies, during his confirmation hearings this week.
Why it matters: Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wasn't asked any similar questions during his confirmation hearings just two years ago. In fact, he was only asked two total questions related to antitrust, and there were zero mentions of Amazon, Facebook or Google.
- Such issues are near top of mind for many senators, which may give a window into their legislative agendas as much as their attorney general analysis. Silicon Valley has more reason to worry than ever before, as do investors who view big M&A as their preferred exit avenue.
- A key quote from Barr, who worked with AT&T on its defense against DOJ on the Time Warner purchase: “I don’t think big is necessarily bad, but I think a lot of people wonder how such huge behemoths that now exist in Silicon Valley have taken shape under the nose of the antitrust enforcers.”