Big Tech

The big picture

Scoop: Jim Messina aims to shape cryptocurrency future

Cryptocurrency companies are currently operating in a regulatory no man’s land.

Mar 10, 2021 - Technology
Ranking the 5 big suits against Google and Facebook

Facebook stands to lose the most, but Google is more likely to lose, according to antitrust experts.

Dec 18, 2020 - Technology
Big Tech's reckoning on race

The industry also must grapple with the effects, good and bad, on inequality.

Jun 12, 2020 - Technology
Tech giants' life cycles shape their crisis responses

Their ages help determine their responses to the coronavirus, government investigations, and protests against racial inequality.

Jun 11, 2020 - Technology
Sundar Pichai's Alphabet to-do list

The new CEO of Google's parent company inherited a long list of issues in need of tackling.

Dec 17, 2019 - Technology
The sovereign state of Facebook

It's making the kinds of world-shaping decisions that used to be in the hands of governments.

Nov 1, 2019 - Technology

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Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 8, 2021 - Technology

Apple and Epic gear up for May trial

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Apple and Epic Games burned the midnight oil Wednesday, as the two companies prepared to lay out their case ahead of a May trial in front of a federal judge in Oakland.

Catch up quick: Last year, Epic added its own in-app payment system into Fortnite, despite prohibitions by both Google and Apple on such moves.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 7, 2021 - Technology

Apple's stricter rules on digital tracking to take effect soon

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning with iOS 14.5, due out in the next couple of weeks, iPhone apps will have to ask users for permission to track their digital activity.

Why it matters: Only if a user gives permission will apps have access to the unique advertising identifier assigned to each device. Apple will also take action against apps that try to fingerprint individual devices via other methods.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 6, 2021 - Technology

Unpacking LG's legacy as it exits the smartphone market globally

LG's 2013 G Flex was among the first phones with a flexible display. Photo: LG

In a world where smartphones have become increasingly homogeneous, Korea's LG was notable for being willing to take risks, even in its flagship models.

Why it matters: LG's exit from the smartphone business doesn't put a lot of market share up for grabs, but the firm's penchant for trying new things will be missed.

Supreme Court vacates lower court decision on Trump blocking Twitter followers

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling that found former President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking followers on Twitter, ordering the case to be dismissed as moot now that he is no longer in office.

Between the lines: Though the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that the "unprecedented" amount of control that Twitter and other digital platforms have over speech must be addressed in the future.

Apr 5, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech's big D.C threat: the FTC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While antitrust lawsuits and Capitol Hill hearings get headlines, Big Tech's biggest threat in Washington may come from the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: The FTC is gearing up to flex its muscle, by both enforcing current rules and trying to draft new ones. And it may be able do so relatively quickly.

Amazon walks back denial, acknowledges issue of delivery drivers urinating in bottles

Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon has apologized to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), saying the company's recent tweet denying that drivers urinate in water bottles was "incorrect."

What they're saying: "[W]e know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this has been especially the case during Covid when many public restrooms have been closed," the company wrote in a blog post.

Antitrust scrutiny is a growing concern for China's Big Tech

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Big Tech players in China like Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are facing challenges all-too-familiar to Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Why it matters: Antitrust has become a big theme for Beijing and this could hamper growth of China’s tech sector should authorities decide to regulate with a heavy hand.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 1, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: Survey results show concerns of women in tech

The Twitter, Facebook and Instagram logos on an iPhone screen. Photo: Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

"Bro" culture, gender bias and micromanagement were top concerns among women in tech who were dissatisfied with their employers, according to a survey from Elpha, the results of which were shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: Hiring bias is only one cause of tech's gender imbalance. Another problem is that women leave the industry because they find the environment works against their success.

Exclusive: Trust in tech craters

Data: Edelman Trust Barometer. Chart: Axios Visuals

Trust in tech — including companies specializing in AI, VR, 5G and the internet of things — fell all around the world last year, the Edelman Trust Barometer found in a massive survey of 31,000 people in 27 countries.

Driving the news: The study, provided first to Axios, is a special tech edition of data collected for the annual Trust Barometer. All-time lows, going back to comparable Edelman polling in 2012, were hit in 17 of 27 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, China, Japan, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Mar 29, 2021 - Technology

Tech companies begin opening offices back up

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook, Microsoft and Uber have all announced plans to begin letting some general workers back into their offices, albeit at reduced levels.

Why it matters: Unlike the rapid shuttering of offices a year ago at the start of the pandemic, the reopenings are expected to be phased and gradual, with many companies foreseeing a hybrid environment where many workers come in only part of the week.

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