Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream (and 1150 more words) are all part of today's Login.
Be sure to tune in Sunday to "Axios on HBO" to see my interview with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. "Axios on HBO" airs at 6 PM ET and PT.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Big companies living under the shadow of looming antitrust investigations typically tread warily, careful not to give regulators too many ideas.
Driving the news: Despite reports that regulators are interested in probing Big Tech's behavior, Google, Facebook and Apple charged ahead this week with acquisitions, software integrations and other grand new programs.
Why it matters: In any normal week, these moves wouldn't be out of the ordinary. But coming mere days after the announcement of a bipartisan congressional antitrust investigation and reports of new regulator scrutiny, they raise questions about how seriously the companies take that prospect.
The big picture: Google Cloud is a third-place competitor to Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure in the cloud market, and it's very likely this acquisition was in the works long before the antitrust rumblings in Washington.
Yes, but: Right now, those optics aren't ideal. Just as regulators are paying closer attention to charges of anticompetitive conduct that helped these companies amass significant market leverage in the first place, the companies are touting their market power or ambitions to scale their businesses even more.
Between the lines: "In an environment where antitrust agencies are paying close attention to you, you want to be careful, so it's interesting that we're seeing these moves," said Charlotte Slaiman, policy counsel at Public Knowledge and former staffer in the FTC's Anticompetitive Practices Division.
Photo: Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images
That sound you're not hearing is the ring of all the robocalls you will never receive, once phone carriers take advantage of a new power the FCC just handed them.
Voting unanimously Thursday, the FCC commissioners approved a ruling that lets phone providers block robocalls by default, Marisa Fernandez writes.
Why it matters: Robocalls are one of the most universally complained-about issues in the U.S., with a total of 48 billion made in 2018 alone, per YouMail Robocall Index. Most major wireless carriers have already promised to implement standards that verify if a call is real or if it comes from a computer.
Details: The declaratory ruling, per the FCC, enacts:
"The unanimous vote from a frequently politically divided FCC shows how the agency was compelled to do something," said Marc Martin, chair of law firm Perkins Coie’s Communications practice. "How effective this action will be, however, remains to be seen."
What to watch: The FCC is not mandating the service be free, but doesn't expect it to add cost for consumers. Phone companies will save money by not servicing as many robocalls and not dealing with as many customer complaints, the agency said.
What's next: Both chambers of Congress are working on more aggressive steps, like mandating phone companies to deploy authentication tech to prevent call spoofing.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Image
You’d think the Mark Stevens shoving Kyle Lowry incident would be enough courtside drama for one night. But there was a whole other incident at the same game on Wednesday night ... involving both Beyoncé and the family of a different Warriors owner.
Nicole Curran, the wife of Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, was sitting next to Beyoncé and leaned over to talk to Jay-Z. Per ESPN, after Beyoncé appeared on TV to be slightly less than pleased with the encounter, people online started directing hate and even death threats Curran's way.
The bottom line: Even though nothing of substance happened, the ensuing online harassment was enough to get Curran to deactivate her Instagram account.
My thought bubble: Mind your own business, people. Nothing happened, and even if it did, Jay-Z and Beyoncé can take care of themselves.
Two years ago, I wrote about Amionx, which is trying to build safer batteries. Its technology works by adding a material to the battery that acts something like an internal fuse that can be triggered whenever a current, voltage or temperature threshold is exceeded.
The latest: The still-small San Diego firm has finally landed its first customer, a large, well-known consumer electronics maker, who they can't name, but who plans to use the technology in multiple products. They are just at the beginning of the relationship, too, so products with their technology aren't likely to hit until at least next year.
Why it matters: Batteries are increasingly central to all manner of digital devices, from phones to electric cars — and yet their very nature compresses volatile components into tight spaces, creating risks of fire and explosion.
Now this is a 5G phone.