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
Jul 22, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: Where Amazon wants to take Alexa

Amazon's Dave Limp addressing an event in 2018. Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

While many people think of Alexa as just the voice behind Amazon's smart speaker, Amazon sees it as the first step towards something more akin to "Star Trek's" remarkably versatile talking computer.

Why it matters: So-called "ambient computing" is seen as the next big wave of computing, where information is personal and delivered in the best way possible given the combination of devices one has nearby.

"Psychonauts 2" developers say Microsoft purchase helped make the game bigger

Screenshot: Double Fine/Microsoft

Microsoft's 2019 purchase of Double Fine gave the studio's developers the peace of mind and added finances to make next month's "Psychonauts 2" a bigger and possibly better game, its developers told Axios.

Why it matters: A comedic follow-up to 2005 cult classic about adventuring through people's minds, "Psychonauts 2" has taken a strange path to existing at all.

Biden clarifies vaccine comments: "Facebook isn't killing people"

President Biden attempted to clarify comments he made last week about Facebook, saying on Monday that the company itself is not "killing people" — but those who post misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines are.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has ratcheted up pressure on social media companies, especially Facebook, to increase their efforts to eliminate misinformation on vaccines and the virus from their platforms.

Gaming insiders spooked by pay-for-engagement plans

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Google's announcement of a plan to pay some game developers based on how much their games are played has stirred concerns among industry insiders about the downside of game subscription economics.

Why it matters: The concern over engagement-based payments is that they incentivize developers to make games that are artificially longer or that pressure their players to keep coming back.

Facebook calls on FTC chair Khan to recuse from antitrust case

Photo: Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook on Wednesday filed a petition for Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from any decision-making about whether and how to continue the agency's antitrust case against the social media giant.

Why it matters: Khan, a vocal critic of Big Tech's power, took over leadership of the agency as it weighs whether to refile its complaint against the company after a judge dismissed it last month.

Jul 13, 2021 - Technology

France fines Google $593 million for news copyright violations

Photo illustration: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

French competition regulators said Tuesday they are fining Google 500 million euros, or roughly $593 million, for failing to comply with copyright rules around negotiating payment terms for news publishers.

Why it matters: It's the latest in a string of competition penalties and investigations Google has faced abroad and at home, several of which concern the way Google compensates news publishers for distributing their work.

Jul 13, 2021 - Technology

Where the tech talent pool is growing

Expand chart
Data: CBRE; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There are emerging hubs all over the U.S. and Canada pulling tech talent away from the superstar cities — but the tech centers are holding onto their dominance, according to a new analysis from the commercial real estate firm CBRE.

The big picture: The pandemic has pushed millions of people to move out of cities, but it hasn't been enough to knock places like the Bay Area and New York out of the top spots to start tech companies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jul 12, 2021 - Technology

China blocks merger of gaming giants in latest tech crackdown

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chinese antitrust regulators blocked the proposed $5.3 billion merger of Huya (NYSE: NUYA) and DouYu (Nasdaq: DOYU), two game streaming companies backed by Tencent.

Why it matters: This reflects how China's crackdown on local tech giants is expanding well beyond data privacy and offshore listings. It's also a big win for Amazon's Twitch, which could have faced a viable challenge from the combined Huya/DouYu.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 9, 2021 - Technology

"An Ugly Truth": New Facebook book takes on Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg and her fiancé, Tom Bernthal, arrive Tuesday for the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference in Idaho. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The close relationship between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg was strained by the Trump era, the N.Y. Times' Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang write in their book, "An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination," out Tuesday.

  • "She became increasingly isolated," they write in an adaptation posted by The Times Thursday. "Her role as the C.E.O.'s second-in-command was less certain with his elevation of several other executives, and with her diminishing influence in Washington."
Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 9, 2021 - Technology

"An Ugly Truth": How Facebook discovered Russian meddling

Cover: Harper

"Oh f---, how did we miss this?" Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked, looking around at the somber faces of his top executives, the N.Y. Times' Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang write in their book, "An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination," out Tuesday.

In an excerpt provided first to Axios, the authors write that the executives met Dec. 9, 2016, for a briefing on what Facebook's security team knew about Russian meddling on the platform during the election won by Donald Trump.

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