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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The backlash against Big Tech is on track to escalate around the world in 2020 and with more concrete consequences.

Driving the news: Just this week The Verge published leaked audio of Mark Zuckerberg's internal Facebook meetings, wherein he claimed Facebook would win the legal challenge posed by Elizabeth Warren if she were elected president.

The big picture: Pressures are coming to bear as the growth of smartphones stalls and innovators vie to figure out what will replace them. Platform transitions always make tech incumbents quake.

  • In Washington, regulators and lawmakers are finally getting the details they've wanted about the full power of tech companies — and how to fight back.
  • In state capitals, attorneys general and legislators are stepping in to investigate and counter anticompetitive practices.
  • On the campaign trail, liberals assail the power of big tech and call for breaking up Facebook and Google, while conservatives decry their power and accuse them of silencing their voices.
  • In newsrooms, investigative reporters are following more threads and leads to expose the power of tech giants and the false promises of new startups.
  • On Wall Street, investors have lost patience with money-hemorrhaging startups and loose-cannon founders.
  • Around the world, a trade breakdown is severing supply chains and nationalist forces are splintering the global internet, shaking the foundations of the tech industry's decades-long march to dominance.

Yes, but: Tech giants today control vast hoardes of cash, armies of talent and troves of data, and they provide billions of customers around the world with convenient, personalized, often free services.

  • Unlike their predecessors, they might have the resources to outmaneuver and outlast government assaults.

The bottom line: Partisan political battles dominate the headlines, but this is the conflict that will shape our economy and society.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
5 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.