4. Rivals report strong-arming by tech giants
Smaller competitors to Google and Facebook that for years kept their legal grievances about the companies silent are beginning to speak up, as regulators crank up probes into anti-competitive behavior by the 2 Silicon Valley giants.
Why it matters: Many smaller tech companies once hesitated to call foul on Facebook and Google's dominance, fearful that doing so would make them look weak or unable to compete, Axios' Sara Fischer reports. Now that regulators are reaching out for information, more smaller rivals are stepping up.
Driving the news: Facebook competitors, including Snapchat, are gathering intelligence for Federal Trade Commission officials about ways the tech giant may have exploited its dominance to punish Snapchat, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Snapchat's legal team has reportedly kept a set of documents dubbed "Project Voldemort" for years with evidence of the allegation.
- According to the report, Snapchat executives have suspected that Instagram was "preventing Snap content from trending on its app."
- While some Google competitors, with Yelp in the lead, have long charged the search giant with monopolistic behavior, the current wave of antitrust investigations means those complaints may get a thorough examination.
Be smart: A similar scenario broke out earlier this year with YouTube when the Justice Department was considering an antitrust investigation into Big Tech companies.
- Bloomberg reported that YouTube competitors AppNexus and Vevo were beginning to speak out publicly against the video giant's anti-competitive practices.
- The report details several examples in which YouTube stifled competitors who were looking to compete against it in video advertising sales.
The big picture: A Senate Judiciary Committee antitrust subcommittee hearing Tuesday looked at whether big tech platforms' acquisitions of smaller rivals posed a problem for the digital marketplace.
- Witnesses pointed to the rise and fall of services like Google Plus, once seen as a competitor to Facebook and now defunct, as examples of the difficulty of determining the health of competition in online markets.
- During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the same topic this summer, Facebook's head of global policy development cited TikTok as an example of an app that was growing rapidly and threatening its own business model.
Meanwhile, per the New York Times, the House Judiciary Committee has requested information from more than 80 companies about how they may have been harmed by Facebook, Google, Apple, or Amazon.