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Tomorrow in DC: Axios' Mike Allen will interview JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, comedian and activist Baratunde Thurston, AOL co-founder and Revolution CEO Steve Case, and MSNBC's Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle. RSVP here.
Situational awareness: Snapchat follows Google, Facebook and Twitter in banning cryptocurrency ads.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios
Of all the news crises Facebook has faced during the past year, the Cambridge Analytica scandal is playing out to be the worst and most damaging.
Why it matters: It's not that the reports reveal anything particularly new about how Facebook's back end works — developers have understood the vulnerabilities of Facebook's interface for years — but stakeholders crucial to the company's success seem less willing to listen to its side of the story this time.
The latest: The saga, which has been flooding cable news for days, intensified Monday night when the New York Times reported that the company's chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, is leaving the company after clashing with colleagues on how to handle disclosures of Russian activity on Facebook.
Two noteworthy occurrences from yesterday that make this scandal stand out from others:
The company responded with a rapid-fire defense with executive-penned blog posts and tweet storms — and sent out executives to let everyone know it was outraged. It even amended a blog post with a time-stamped update, something you would typically see on a breaking story from a news outlet.
Tick tock... It's worth noting that key Facebook execs, like CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan, have yet to comment.
A sweeping privacy rule from the EU called the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation, will go into effect in two months, affecting all companies with digital audiences in Europe. The law is meant to protect consumer data and streamline data collection policies across Europe.
Why it matters: The law contends that companies need a lawful basis for conducting certain data processing activities, applying more scrutiny on companies using shady business practices to capture user data.
"It's basically the new constitution of Europe ... Everything will be judged by how it influences privacy."— Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and European data trade policy expert, at a Microsoft Digital Trade event
GDPR is by far the biggest accomplishment of this Commission over the last five years, Lee-Makiyama argues: "This is basically 90% of its legacy."
Data: Pew Research Center; Note: Percentages based on total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
Europeans view privacy as a human rights issue, leading regulators there to be much more skeptical of data-driven businesses like social media, while Americans view privacy as fundamental right only via-a-vis government intrusion, under the Fourth Amendment, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva writes.
Why it matters: Americans are beginning to worry about how data is used on some platforms like Facebook, particularly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke this weekend.
The big picture: Europe's history and culture plays a large role in shaping its views toward privacy. Granted, this history has to do with government access to personal information, but it's since extended to businesses.
Bottom line: American data laws tend to favor business over consumers. European data laws, especially GDPR, tend to favor consumers over business.
Cultural attitudes impact social media use: A Pew survey last year found that internet access doesn't necessarily lead to social media use, including in European countries like Germany, where only 37% of people use social media.
The court battle over AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner got off to a contentious start Monday as lawyers fought over what evidence they could bring into court, Axios' David McCabe writes.
Why it matters: Key themes are already emerging after the first day of the trial. For starters, the judge wants to hear from AT&T's competitors, and the government wants to show the hypocrisy of AT&T's arguments.
Be smart: The judge presiding over this case approved (after some skepticism) a similar case resulting in a settlement between DOJ and Comcast over the cable giant’s acquisition of NBCUniversal seven years ago. Meet Judge Richard Leon.
Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Why it matters: The fates of iHeart and Cumulus raise questions about the future of terrestrial radio, which is struggling to compete with digital broadcasting and streaming services like Spotify. Although the companies' ad-driven revenue model is facing headwinds, market research indicates that consumers are still tuning into radio in robust numbers, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
And radio advertising revenue has fallen flat. Radio advertising for terrestrial radio grew by 1.6% in 2016, and that growth is projected to slow to just 0.4% by 2021. Compare that to the 7.5% annual growth expected for satellite radio advertising in 2021.
Photo: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Newspaper publisher Tronc has had a rocky few months. Plagued by management shakeups, unionization battles, layoffs and accusations of sexual harassment, the media group formerly known as Tribune Publishing has struggled in its efforts to adapt to a digital landscape, Axios' Zach Basu writes.
Why it matters: An underwhelming year-end earnings report further sounded the alarm for Tronc investors earlier this month, causing the company to lose almost a quarter of its market value in a single trading session.
For all of the stories about venture-backed media companies failing, venture capital firms don't seem to be shying away from investments. The latest:
Other digital media startups with VC-backing over the past few months:
Mark Penn, now chairman of the Harris Poll and managing partner of the Stagwell Group — and a former pollster, Microsoft EVP and Burson Marsteller CEO — releases his new book today, Microtrends Squared.
Axios got a sneak peek at some of the media trends highlighted in the book:
Go deeper: Desktop dies on weekends.
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises will unveil new state-of-the-art headquarters, Telemundo Center, on April 9th, Axios has learned. The Spanish-language broadcaster will be consolidating several of its business units under one roof for improved collaboration and efficiency.