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As investigations into tech giants' possible anti-competitive behavior multiply, authorities are beginning to tussle over turf — adding a new potential for discord to the regulatory chess game, Axios' Sara Fischer writes.
Why it matters: These probes are legally complex and historically difficult to pull off. There's bipartisan support right now for checking Big Tech's power, but the companies have enormous resources and remain popular, and fighting among regulators can only hamper their work.
Driving the news: Federal Trade Commission chairman Joe Simons has written a letter to the Justice Department's antitrust division complaining about the DOJ's behavior in handling disagreements over which agency has the authority to probe Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Be smart: Both agencies, under much pressure, have clashed over who has jurisdiction to investigate which companies.
The big picture: A growing list of media investigations are presenting evidence of tech platforms abusing their dominance to promote their own products and services.
The bottom line: Multiple probes can help regulators cover the vast territory they have set out to explore. But any time and resources they spend fighting each other will only benefit the companies they are seeking to hold accountable.
A worker at the Corning plant that makes glass for Apple iPhones. Photo: Apple
Apple said Tuesday it is awarding key supplier Corning with $250 million from the company's $5 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, designed to invest in U.S.-based companies that make parts for the company.
Why it matters: The move aims to help Corning with the massive R&D expense of coming up with ever stronger glass to go on the outside of the iPhone, Apple Watch and other products. The latest deal comes on top of $200 million Apple put into Corning in 2017.
Apple isn't saying exactly how the deal is structured, but it is part of a much broader relationship in which Apple and Corning work together on glass and billions of dollars change hands.
The bottom line: People talk about making iPhones in the U.S., but that's unlikely to happen. There are real iPhone manufacturing jobs in the U.S., but they are at suppliers like Corning.
Bill Gates, who donated $2 million to the MIT Media Lab at the request of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, told Axios yesterday: "I wish I hadn't met with him."
"It was a dead end," Gates said in his first comments since his name surfaced among billionaires associated with Epstein, Axios' Mike Allen reports.
Why it matters: A Gates official told Ito, in an email obtained by Axios' Felix Salmon, that Gates wanted the $2 million unrestricted gift to be anonymous.
Asked if he feels used by Epstein, Gates told Mike: "I'd say I didn't have a ... business or personal relationship — I wouldn't go that far."
Gates, at the end of a phone interview about a new Gates Foundation report, "Examining Inequality," said: "I won't say I knew him that well, because he was introduced to me as somebody who could bring more people into philanthropy."
Go deeper: See the email from Gates' office.
The web's trade organization, the Internet Association, became the latest industry group to urge Congress to pass a national privacy law.
Why it matters: Industry organizations, individual companies and consumer groups all say they want privacy legislation. They probable vary in what they would like to see in such legislation, but there could well be room for something that all could get behind.
What they're saying: "Passing comprehensive, federal privacy legislation in the 116th Congress is a top priority for the internet industry," said IA president & CEO Michael Beckerman. "Internet companies stand ready with the broader business community to support unified, national privacy legislation."
Between the lines: California's state privacy law goes into effect Jan. 1, and much of the industry hoped to see less strict national rules pre-empt the state's measure first.
What's better than Cookie Monster? Cookie Monster and a puppy.