Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Big Tech got squeezed from both sides of the Atlantic on Wednesday.

What's happening: The EU will investigate how Amazon creates products that compete with offerings from outside merchants on its site. "Brussels is also poised to conclude a four-year probe into US chipmaker Qualcomm by fining the company for abuse of dominant position." Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill have found common ground: Big Tech is too powerful and needs to be knocked down a peg.

One example: Facebook is facing a lot of scrutiny from Congress over its plans for its Libra cryptocurrency, largely because lawmakers worry the social media giant could have too much control over it, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva emails.

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): "They moved fast and broke our political discourse. ... Now Facebook asks people to trust them with their hard-earned paychecks."
  • The other side: The company has been emphasizing that it will be governed by an independent body, of which Facebook will be a member.
  • Facebook exec David Marcus told Congress today the company "will take the time to get this right."

The big picture: As this year opened with a wave of congressional scrutiny of tech, privacy legislation seemed the most likely outcome.

  • Now, the conflict has broadened onto much wider terrain, Axios' Ina Fried wrote in this morning's Login newsletter.
  • And Europe — where France just passed a 3% digital tax on and where GDP is a part of life — has long since moved past the thinking phase to the regulating stage.

Why it matters: While it’s not out of the “all talk” stage yet, the conversation has moved from broad condemnation to more specific ways tech could be regulated, Axios’ David McCabe reports.

What's next: On Thursday, executives from Snap, Match Group, Salesforce and Mozilla will brief members of the Senate Judiciary Committee behind closed doors as part of the panel’s new tech task force that hopes to tackle issues like privacy and data security.

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.