All Big Tech stories

Ashley Gold
Nov 10, 2021 - Technology

Google loses appeal to EU antitrust ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google lost an appeal to an antitrust decision in Europe on Wednesday, Reuters reports, a victory for EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager and a blow to the company as it fights antitrust suits at home and abroad.

What's happening: Today's ruling from the General Court is the latest in regulatory action between the EU and Google. Vestager fined the search giant $2.8 billion (€2.4 billion) in 2017 after finding it disadvantaged its European competition in the shopping comparison space.

Nov 8, 2021 - Technology

Google parent Alphabet surpasses $2 trillion market cap

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Alphabet's market capitalization surpassed $2 trillion on Monday, having doubled its value during the pandemic.

Why it matters: The Google parent company was valued at $1 trillion in January 2020. Its business has been buoyed by the migration of companies to digital operations in the past two years.

Apple-Facebook fight moves to metaverse

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook's pivot to the metaverse is also a move to check Apple in the tech industry's long-term game of "what's next."

The big picture: Tech's leaders view their story as a series of shifts from one dominant platform to another. Each transition is a moment of peril to incumbents and opportunity for newcomers.

Nov 5, 2021 - Technology

New Klobuchar, Cotton bill could block Big Tech mergers

Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Cotton arrive at the Capitol for the impeachment trial of President Trump on Jan. 21, 2020. Photo: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced a bill Friday that would make it more difficult for Big Tech to acquire rival companies and would force them to prove proposed mergers aren't anticompetitive

Driving the news: The Platform Competition and Opportunity Act is a Senate companion bill to a similar House bill of the same name. It's motivated by a belief that acquisitions like Facebook's parent company Meta buying WhatsApp and Instagram has been bad for consumer choice and competition.

Nov 5, 2021 - Technology

Exclusive: Poll shows rising TikTok mistrust

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Men, conservatives and Americans with higher levels of education distrust tech platforms, particularly Facebook and TikTok, more than other demographics, according to a new poll from YouGov and the Center for Growth and Opportunity.

Why it matters: The poll, shared exclusively with Axios, shows an ongoing distrust of tech platforms and the media, as Americans’ faith in some of the most popular vehicles for information continues to drop.

  • The poll also shows that Americans are split on whether news coverage is good for American society, with 41% agreeing with that statement and 43% disagreeing.

By the numbers: The poll, which has a 3.4% margin of error, sampled 1,000 U.S. adults from August 26-31, and showed men generally distrust social media platforms more than women.

  • 59% of respondents said they distrust TikTok; 58% said they distrust Facebook; 55% said they distrust Twitter.
  • 73% of Americans with post-graduate degrees are distrustful of Facebook; 49% are distrustful among those whose highest level of education is a high school diploma.
  • Conservatives said they distrust Facebook more than liberals at 69% and 55%, respectively.
  • 81% of respondents said they support free speech; at the same time, a majority of respondents say social media should be held liable for posts thought to be untrue or offensive content.

Of note: Distrust of Amazon and Twitter has gone up since the last YouGov/CGO poll, while Zoom showed a boost in its reputation, from 35% saying they distrust the platform to 26%.

Be smart: Distrust of the media and tech is shared among many demographics, but as the government investigates and scrutinizes these platforms, there’s little agreement on how to address the spread of misinformation and polarization.

Go deeper:

Nov 3, 2021 - Technology

Apple defends App Store's walled garden

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A top Apple executive sounded off Wednesday against a proposed European law that would force the company to let iPhone users download software outside of the App Store, also known as "sideloading."

Driving the news: Apple software senior vice president Craig Federighi told an audience at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, that the EU bill, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), would be dangerous for iPhone users and limit consumer choice.

Nov 3, 2021 - Technology

Microsoft also eyes the metaverse

Image: Microsoft

With a slew of virtual-reality-related announcements Tuesday, Microsoft reminded us that Facebook parent Meta isn't the only company with plans for a metaverse.

Driving the news: Microsoft said at its Ignite conference on Tuesday that it will bring avatars and its broader Mesh platform to Microsoft Teams, as part of an effort to make meetings more immersive and collaborative. That's part of a larger set of plans for the metaverse.

Nov 3, 2021 - Technology

The small agency that's threatening Big Tech

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Since Rohit Chopra won confirmation a month ago as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which enforces federal consumer financial laws, he's already begun to flex the agency's regulatory powers in the tech realm.

Why it matters: One of Washington's most ardent Big Tech opponents is now empowered to investigate companies' inner business workings, write new rules and issue fines.

Facebook’s plan to delete a billion faces

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook plans to shut down its face recognition system in the "coming weeks," Meta announced Tuesday, citing the "many concerns about the place of facial recognition technology in society."

Driving the news: The changes will affect more than a third of daily users, according to Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence at Meta, Facebook's newly-named parent company. Facebook "will delete more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates," Pesenti said.

Yahoo shuts down services in China

A Yahoo logo on the outside of the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. Photo: Ryan Anson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Yahoo it ended its services in China Tuesday because of "the increasingly challenging business and legal environment" in the country, a spokesperson said in a statement.

Why it matters: Yahoo is the latest U.S.-based tech company to stop offering its services in China, where the government's strict control over the internet forces businesses to censor certain information that Beijing has deemed subversive.