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Tim Wu's new book calls for tighter antitrust enforcement

Columbia University law professor Tim Wu is a longtime skeptic of corporate power. Photo: Seth Wenig / AP

The man who coined the term "net neutrality" is now calling for "a return to sort of Progressive Era style antitrust enforcement that is focused on concentration and size."

Columbia University law professor Tim Wu tapped into the tech policy zeitgeist with his books The Master Switch, about corporate power in the information age, and the more recent Attention Merchants. In The Curse of Bigness Revisited (a working title) Wu plans to make his case for tighter regulation. Wu hopes to have the book out by spring.

The bigger picture: Antitrust is a hot topic right now. Hill Democrats are working tougher merger enforcement into their midterm platform. And skepticism of corporate power — especially in tech — is an animating force on both sides of the ideological divide.

Axios asked Wu

what the audience was for the book. "I think there are members of the public who will get into it, but it is probably a little more … I think it's accessible to anyone who feels inspired by the works of Louis Brandeis," he said, after speaking at a briefing put on by progressives in Congress. "It's kind of trying to reinvigorate the Brandeis vision of small producers, smaller economy, innovation and self-determination."

Steve LeVine 5 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

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Trump, Sessions & GOP lawmakers to meet about sanctuary cities

Jeff Sessions claps behind Donald Trump's blurry profile at a speech
Attorney General Jeff Sesssions, Donald Trump, Melania Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty

The White House is hosting a roundtable on sanctuary cities Tuesday afternoon with the President, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security, Republican lawmakers and others, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Conservatives tried to use this week’s massive government spending bill to cut federal funds from sanctuary cities, but they failed, according to sources involved in the process. But Trump officials want to use Tuesday’s event to highlight the issue and put pressure on cities that don't comply with federal immigration law enforcement.