Jun 26, 2017

Tensions rise between E.U. regulators and U.S. tech giants

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

European antitrust officials plan to slap a €1 billion fine on Google for abusing its search practices, the FT reports. Competition regulators say Google unfairly used its search dominance to steer customers to its own Google Shopping platform. The final decision is expected to be announced Wednesday, in what will undoubtedly strain tensions between Europe and Silicon Valley.

Why it matters: The Europeans don't share America's romantic view of Google, Facebook and other tech giants and are aggressively trying to highlight and restrain their market dominance, a move some White House officials such as Steve Bannon are watching closely as they debate future U.S. action.

This year:

  • June 14: UK and France announced potential legal liability for tech giants that host terrorist content on their platforms.
  • May 18: The EU fined Facebook $122 million for providing faulty info about its acquisition of WhatsApp.
  • May 17: Facebook sanctioned in Europe over data collection.
  • Mar 7: Google faces antitrust EU complaint over imposing contractual restraints on Android manufacturers.
  • Jan 30: WhatsApp sued in Europe for sharing phone numbers with Facebook.

THE BFD - GDPR: European regulators are also more sensitive to issues surrounding how these tech giants access and use consumer's personal data, which is why they introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year to be implemented in 2018. The law puts major restraints on how these companies can use consumer data to sell ads and it applies to all companies leveraging European data.

Global trend: Notice how European countries have great access to broadband but comparatively, they use social media much less. (Only 37% of Germans use social media but 86% have internet access.) The point: This sentiment comes from cultural trends, not just fiery regulators.

Expand chart
Data: Pew Research Center; Note: Percentages based on total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Go deeper

Teenager killed after shots fired at protesters in Detroit

Detroit police during protests on Friday night. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

A 19-year-old man was killed on Friday night after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Detroit who were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, per AP.

Details: The teenager was injured when shots were fired from an SUV about 11:30 p.m. and later died in hospital, reports MDN reports, which noted police were still looking for a suspect. Police said officers were not involved in the shooting, according to AP.

Go deeper: In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters clash with police nationwide over George Floyd

Police officers grapple with protesters in Atlanta. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd spread nationwide on Friday evening.

The big picture: Police responded in force in cities ranging from Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to D.C. and Denver to Louisville. In Los Angeles, police declared a stretch of downtown off limits, with Oakland issuing a similar warning.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules

The Supreme Court has ruled 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's liberal justices, to reject a challenge to California's pandemic restrictions on worship services.

Why it matters: This is a setback for those seeking to speed the reopening of houses of worship, including President Trump.