If reading Axios each day isn't enough, you're in luck. Dan Primack is launching our first podcast, Pro Rata, next week. You can subscribe here. Bonus: I'll be on there from time to time talking tech and reminding him that the Warriors rule and the Patriots cheat.
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The EU has imposed a record $5 billion fine on Google for its Android business practices — but the biggest impact is likely to come with new rules for how the company does business.
At issue: Historically, Google has required Android device makers that offer its Google Play app store to pre-install Google’s own applications. That’s the biggest of a variety of practices the EU says Google uses to maintain its dominance.
Why it matters: Looking back to the Microsoft antitrust case 20 years ago, the fines were the least of the firm’s issues. More troublesome for Microsoft were specific conduct remedies the EU ordered, such as forcing Microsoft to allow PC buyers there to choose a rival browser.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s take: “The decision ignores the fact that Android phones compete with iOS phones…It also misses just how much choice Android provides” to phone makers, app developers and consumers.
Beyond Mountain View: Google has been hit hard in Europe. So far, however, both Facebook and Amazon have avoided this level of scrutiny, despite growing fears about their power.
What's next: We'll be watching whether this move widens the gap between Brussels and Washington, where antitrust enforcers have thus far been wary of taking on Big Tech. We’ll also watch how it plays out in the larger picture of EU-U.S. tensions provoked by the Trump administration’s trade moves and rhetoric.
Go deeper: Axios’ Sara Fischer has more on the EU’s move against Google.
Flooding after a coastal storm in Scituate, Mass. Credit: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
This week brought a further reminder of how fragile much of the internet has become. In addition to its reliance on several core pieces of physical infrastructure, the network is also increasingly dependent on a few cloud providers, namely Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
A recent example is a Google cloud services outage on Tuesday that shut down everything from Spotify to chat forum Discord to online game Pokémon Go.
Many others rely on Amazon or Microsoft for cloud services. Monday's Prime Day glitches, for example weren't tied specifically to Amazon Web Services, but past outages of AWS have taken out even larger swaths of the web than did Tuesday's Google glitches.
Climate change poses a new kind of danger. Axios science editor Andrew Freedman writes:
Parts of the infrastructure that forms the backbone of the internet — from fiber optic cables to colocation facilities — is at risk of being flooded and knocked offline during the next few decades as a result of climate change-related sea level rise, according to a new study.
The study, by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and University of Oregon, concludes that sea level rise is not a far-off problem for the end of the century, but rather a "devastating" risk that the U.S. telecommunications industry faces in as little as the next 15 years.
Go deeper: Andrew has more here.
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In just four years, Amazon's invented Prime Day has become an event with as much clout as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, analysts report. And while this year got off to a rough start, the event (which ended at 3am ET Wednesday) was in many ways the biggest one yet, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.
Why it matters: Amazon uses the event not just to boost sales and reward existing customers, but also to sign up new Prime customers.
One of the highlights: The sales were bigger than last year — not only with Amazon brands — but with notable retail brands like Calvin Klein, P&G and Samsung, ranging from 20-50% off.
One of the lowlights: As mentioned in the top story, Amazon's website started suffering glitches and outages as soon as Prime Day started on Monday.
What's next: Look for Amazon to tout how this was the biggest and best Prime Day ever in an adjective-filled press release and tune in for more details via its Q2 financial results that will be announced July 26.
Go deeper: Read the full story here.
In these days of tensions between D.C. and the tech industry, it can help to grab ahold of the things that unite both sides. Like the fact that both communities are bad at small talk, as captured in this Twitter exchange.
Facebook's Mark Luckie noted that Silicon Valley is the only place he knows where people ask each other where they work in the first minute of meeting them. A D.C. follower suggested the same thing happens there.
As I mentioned above, Heighington recently got married. What I didn't say is that his sister stole the show with her musical tribute of "Take My Bro" sung to the tune of "Let It Go." I've spent the last two days with the refrain stuck in my head — "Take my bro, take my bro. He's old and he bothers me anyway."