European Union Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. Photo: Virginia Mayo / AP

Margrethe Vestager, Europe's chief competition regulator who brought an antitrust case against Google this year, told Recode's Kara Swisher that the European Commission is continuing its focus on preventing tech giants from squashing competition from startups. She also said on the podcast that she's concerned about the lack of transparency around the algorithms used by these companies.

Across the pond: U.S. lawmakers also questioned the larger societal impact of Big Tech's use of algorithms and big data on Wednesday, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai questioned whether social media is a net benefit to society.

Key quote: "We have to take our democracy back. We cannot leave it to Facebook or Snapchat or anyone else. We have to take democracy back and renew it. Society is about people and not about technology." She added: "We want a free market, but we know that the paradox of a 'free' market is that sometimes you have to intervene."

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

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Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.