I recognize that not all my readers are sports fans, so for today's intro I want to serve something up for them. It's no slam dunk to figure out what to say, but thanks for being part of my team.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
In trying to understand the future of tech regulation, it's worth looking back at recent history, David McCabe reports. That may provide the best clues to how companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon might be ultimately reined in.
What's happening: Major tech executives have urged regulators to adopt approaches from the past to regulate their businesses, including self-regulation, that have previously helped industries avoid the toughest penalties. Meanwhile, lawmakers are turning to history for lessons in how to cut Big Tech down to size.
Driving the news: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that the moderation of malicious content online could be overseen by an industry standards body similar to the Hollywood system for rating movies established in the 1960s.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in December that social media could be regulated like broadcast television. “If you’re broadcasting to millions of people, you need to serve the public interest,” he told the Financial Times.
Tech critics are also finding inspiration in history.
What they’re saying: “The question of how do you mass people and capital and these technologies together in ways that keep us free instead of imprison us is a question that I think we’ve had really going back to the founding of the country with the East India Company,” said Matt Stoller, a fellow at the anti-monopoly Open Markets Institute. (His history of battles over monopoly power is being released in October.)
Yes, but: Many lawmakers say that grappling with the tech giants is still a largely unprecedented challenge.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Uber starts trading this morning, after pricing shares on Thursday at $45 apiece, at the low end of its expected range.
By the numbers: The company itself raised $8.6 billion, inclusive of a concurrent $500 million investment from PayPal. Insiders are expected to sell another 27 million shares in the offering, generating another $1.2 billion. This puts Uber's initial market cap at around $75.5 billion, and its fully diluted value just north of $82 billion.
Our thought bubble: Investors are likely trying to weigh the tough economics of today's ride-hailing business with the prospect that the game changes once autonomous vehicles arrive en masse.
If you want to hear even more from me on Uber's IPO, I shared a ton of thoughts in an interview with CNBC's Jon Fortt.
Meanwhile: According to an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll, people feel surprisingly upbeat about the impacts of ride-hailing services, despite the many controversies over how they affect drivers and cities.
Kim Hart reports that federal staffers were caught off guard Thursday by the abrupt departure of David Redl, the Trump appointee running the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. For those unfamiliar, that's the Commerce Department's telecom policy shop.
Why it matters: Officials are under intense pressure to make more airwaves available for the private sector to build 5G networks. Divvying up government airwaves amid the "race" to beat China has led to spats between agencies.
The intrigue: In an email to colleagues, Redl said it was with "a heavy heart" that he announced his resignation. Three sources familiar with the situation said his departure comes after internal disagreements about 5G policies.
What's next: Diane Rinaldo is now the acting NTIA administrator.
Go deeper: Read Axios' deep dive on the 5G future.
Amaon's Echo Dot Kids Edition
A coalition of groups filed an FTC complaint on Thursday, saying the kids' version of the Echo Dot violates child privacy law in several ways, including by retaining information even after a consumer has tried to delete it. (Amazon says that was a bug that has now been fixed, and published a blog post defending its overall policies when it comes to kids and Alexa.)
Meanwhile, separate reports say that parts of Amazon retain transcripts of Alexa conversations even after consumers delete the related audio clips. Amazon told CNET it is working to change its processes.
The bottom line: Amazon actually has a pretty good track record of offering curated services for kids. But with privacy issues front and center, and Congress weighing further action, the latest developments are not a good look for the company.
Go deeper: What Amazon knows about you
Making the youths try to dial a number in under four minutes using a rotary phone is awesome, but to be fair, I'd have a tough time making a TikTok video in that time.