Big Tech

The big picture

Zuckerberg rebuts Facebook whistleblower testimony
Zuckerberg rebuts Facebook whistleblower testimony

"It's difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives," he wrote.

Oct 6, 2021 - Technology
Snap hires first Global Head of Platform Safety

The latest hire reflects Snapchat's growing focus on user safety and wellbeing.

Sep 15, 2021 - Technology
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

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Market bubble or bust, Big Tech wins

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With many bellwether tech stocks down more than 10% since the year's start, the industry is once again debating whether it faces a "big one" — a financial earthquake that will end a two-decade run of spectacular growth.

The big picture: Whether January's downs prove a turning point or just a minor "correction," tech's giants know that, either way, they'll come out on top.

States, D.C. allege Google deceives users to obtain location data

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Attorneys general in Washington, D.C., Texas, Indiana and Washington state are suing Google for allegedly deceiving consumers to obtain their location data.

Driving the news: The lawsuit alleges that Google uses "dark patterns, including repeated nudging, misleading pressure tactics, and evasive and deceptive descriptions of location features and settings, to cause users to provide more and more location data (inadvertently or out of frustration)."

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 21, 2022 - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Microsoft's metaverse maneuvering

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Microsoft is pitching investors and regulators that its $68 billion Activision Blizzard deal is all about the metaverse, that nebulous buzzword taking the tech world by storm.

What they're saying: By my colleague Stephen Totilo's count, Nadella used the word "metaverse" at least five times in his conference call discussing the deal. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick mentioned the metaverse four times, while Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer used the term twice.

Big Tech lobbies hard against looming antitrust bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai, have been jawboning lawmakers as a Senate committee takes up a key antitrust bill Thursday.

Why it matters: The bill prompting this lobbying frenzy could upend how tech's giants do business, and tech's critics see this as a "now or never" moment for Congress to check the industry's power.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 19, 2022 - Technology

Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal complicates Big Tech regulation

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Microsoft's surprise $68 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard is adding a fresh twist to the heated debate over which tech companies have monopolies that need to be reined in.

The big picture: The deal could force a question the company has happily ducked for a decade: whether its size and power make it just as deserving of regulatory scrutiny as its Big Tech rivals.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 18, 2022 - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard


Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.

Lawsuit: Google, Facebook execs conspired to manipulate ad auctions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Top executives at Google and Facebook were involved in an effort to limit competition in a portion of the online advertising market, according to a newly amended (and less heavily redacted) version of a 2020 multi-state lawsuit aimed at Google and led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Why it matters: While a previous version of the suit also alleged collusion between the two companies, the newly public documents shed new light on the effort, dubbed "Jedi Blue," as well as the extent 0f executive involvement.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Jan 14, 2022 - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Tech giants play the blame game

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

With regulators around the world looking at reining in Big Tech, the companies in the crosshairs are increasingly eager to point out their rivals' sins.

Why it matters: Investigations in the U.S. and around the world are targeting Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. To make their case, regulators need to show the companies are squelching competition — a task the tech companies may be aiding with their infighting.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas tech giants

A mob of Trump supporters breaches the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday subpoenaed Alphabet, Meta, Reddit and Twitter for records as part of its investigation of the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The four social media companies have key information related to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election and domestic violent extremism, the panel said.

Tech firms cheer smoother visa sailing

Expand chart
Data: USCIS; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

The Biden-era approach to visas used by skilled foreign workers is injecting more certainty into the hiring process for large tech employers after four tumultuous Trump administration years.

Driving the news: Biden's first year saw a record low in the denial rate of high-skilled foreign worker visa petitions, according to an analysis of government data by the National Foundation for American Policy shared exclusively with Axios.

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