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Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

One of the Federal Communications Commission's Republican commissioners said Monday that regulators should not crack down on big tech companies like Facebook and Google.

Why it matters: Heavily-regulated internet service providers like AT&T and Verizon are increasingly trying to compete with Google and Facebook, which are not as regulated and together control the market for digital ads. The internet providers and web firms that rely on their services are often at odds in policy debates. For example, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai argued that web platforms are a greater threat to online freedom than internet service providers.

What he said: "I’m not interested in imposing like regulation on the edge community or the high technology community to create some kind of parity level" with internet providers, Michael O'Rielly told reporters. He suggested removing regulations for internet providers would put them on more even footing with the web firms.

The details:

  • He said he would "go the opposite direction and that’s why I’ve been working pretty hard to remove barriers that no longer make any sense, and rules and regulations at the commission that no longer make any sense on, for lack of a better word, the legacy platforms that we oversee."
  • The FCC also doesn't have authority over Facebook, Google or any other web or "edge" service. O'Rielly said it's up to Congress to decide whether one regulator should oversee both those companies and the internet providers.

Go deeper

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.

22 mins ago - Health

Moderna says COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in kids

Photo: Martin Galindo/Long Visual Press/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Moderna on Monday released trial results for its coronavirus vaccine for children aged 6 to 11, saying it provides a "robust" immune response after two doses.

Why it matters: Moderna said it will officially submit the results to the Food and Drug Administration for authorization in "the near term," meaning we could soon see two coronavirus vaccines available to protect approximately 28 million more kids in the U.S.

Live list: The "Facebook Papers" arrive

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Reports based on leaked whistleblower documents from Facebook, known as the Facebook Papers, appeared in a broad range of news outlets Monday, shedding light on what company knew about harms caused on its platform and how it handled that information.

Why it matters: The reports paint a detailed picture of Facebook's efforts over the years to grapple with major problems — from hate speech to inciting violence — while continuing to pursue its business objectives.