Sep 24, 2019

The targets of the Big Tech backlash

Bruce Mehlman, Republican lobbyist for the bipartisan government relations firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, wrote in a memo to clients that what we're in isn't a broad "techlash," but instead the targeting of "a few specific dominant players ... and significant platforms (Uber/Lyft, Airbnb, Twitter)."

Why it matters: Mehlman writes that traditional old guard tech companies like Microsoft and other computer companies are not under the gun and actually enjoy a positive image among Americans.

What's next: Mehlman said to expect an ongoing semantics battle to define "tech," and traditional hardware and sell software manufactures could influence this definition as they seek distance from ad-financed social media companies that have gained negative attention.

  • He also said to expect 2020 presidential candidates and members of Congress from both parties to increasingly scrutinize big tech because "tech-bashing" has become politically appealing.

Go deeper: Read the full memo

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States add to Big Tech's headaches

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Already facing antitrust and privacy enforcement actions from governments around the globe, major tech companies are now grappling with a slew of new potential threats from individual states.

Why it matters: Local governments are more nimble and have higher levels of public trust than Congress, so they have more latitude to get laws passed quickly.

Go deeperArrowOct 5, 2019

2020 Democrats lay into Big Tech "monopolists"

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Key Democratic presidential hopefuls displayed their divisions and agreements over what to do about the power of Big Tech in a lengthy chunk of Tuesday night's debate.

What they're saying: Sen. Elizabeth Warren outlined the most comprehensive antitrust-enforcement approach.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019

For tech, it's all hard problems now

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The tech industry spent the last two decades connecting the world and getting computers into every home and hand — but that's turning out to have been the easy part. Now, every problem tech companies face is fiendishly hard.

Driving the news: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) unloaded on Facebook Monday:

"Facebook has incredible power to affect elections and our national debate. Mark Zuckerberg is telling employees that he views a Warren administration as an “existential” threat to Facebook. The public deserves to know how Facebook intends to use their influence in this election."
— Sen. Warren, on Twitter