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Microsoft President Brad Smith testifies during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Microsoft president Brad Smith will testify before a House antitrust subcommittee hearing next Friday about tech antitrust and the news media, sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

What's happening: The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is holding hearings this spring to follow up on its year-long investigation and expansive report into Big Tech and antitrust. The committee says these hearings will help form legislation.

Why it matters: Smith, who has supported antitrust laws related to media and tech abroad, is also supporting action in the U.S. — a shot across the bow to his tech competitors.

  • Smith previously expressed his support for such laws in a blog post, and his testimony at the March 12 hearing is the next step in showing Microsoft will be supporting any U.S. attempts to pass antitrust laws for media and tech.
  • Smith also publicly supported Australia's news media code, which forces tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for their content or be fined.
  • His motivations are tied to Microsoft's search engine Bing, which he thinks has a chance to compete with Google if such laws are passed.

What they're saying: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) told Axios the committee was taking a close look at Australia's effort as it refines its own proposals.

  • Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Mar 2, 2021 - Technology

Microsoft sees its future in VR

Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman appears via hologram at the Ignite 2021 conference using Microsoft Mesh. Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is using its Ignite customer conference to highlight its commitment to mixed reality, announcing new cloud services for hosting virtual objects that can be shared across devices and delivering Tuesday's keynote speech from within its Altspace VR virtual world.

Why it matters: Mixed reality, including VR and AR, is widely seen as the next frontier of computing interfaces. Although Facebook's Oculus tends to get more attention, Microsoft has been steadily investing in both its Hololens headset as well as Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets from HP and others.

36 mins ago - World

Putin is challenging Ukraine's "right to exist," Blinken says

Blinken (L) speaks in Berlin on Thursday. Photo: Kay Nietfeld - Pool/Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken put the stakes of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in stark terms on Thursday, saying Vladimir Putin's threat is a direct challenge to Ukraine's "right to exist" as an independent country and a democracy.

What he's saying: “There’s been a lot of speculation about President Putin’s true intentions, but we don’t actually have to guess. He’s told us, repeatedly. He’s laying the groundwork for an invasion because he doesn’t believe Ukraine is a sovereign nation," Blinken said during a speech in Berlin.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Jared Kushner wants to Trump-proof his private equity future

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Jared Kushner appears to have convinced the private equity market that he'll stick with his new firm, called Affinity Partners, even if his father-in-law returns to the White House.

The big picture: Private equity is littered with former presidential advisers and cabinet officials, and Trump's is proving to be no different.

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