Here’s the latest news from Google and the technology industry, which is coming under increasing scrutiny from regulatory watchdogs, trade organizations and politicians globally.
EU Aims To Have Big Tech Share Data With Smaller Competitors
The European Union is getting ready to make Big Tech provide smaller competitors with their massive collections of customer information.
Firms such as Google and Amazon “shall not use data collected on the platform . . . for [their] own commercial activities . . . unless they [make it] accessible to business users active in the same commercial activities,” according to a draft of the “Digital Services Act,” as cited by The Financial Times.
Brussels also aims to have big platforms allow users to remove programs that come already installed on technologies like computers and smartphones.
Furthermore, other portions of the draft include a rule that gatekeeper platforms only have the ability to harness the information they receive for specific activities.
“Gatekeepers shall not use data received from business users for advertising services for any other purpose other than advertising services,” according to the draft, as per FT.
Banks Oppose Idea Of Possible Big Tech Banking Charters
Last week, a U.S. House committee started to look at the idea of letting firms like Facebook or Amazon get charters to run as banks.
By providing a national servicing platform, the charter would enable those kinds of companies to bypass the process by which they have to collect money transmitter licenses from states.
The House committee held a hearing on the concept after Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks put forward the concept of a new special purpose banking charter for payments firms.
The banking industry, however, is against the idea.
“We oppose the OCC’s effort to grant commercial companies like Amazon or Facebook a national payments charter to access to the Federal Reserve payments system and safety net, [the] most critical part of our country’s financial infrastructure … without protecting the financial system and consumers from the concomitant increase in systemic risk,” industry leaders said in a recent letter to crucial legislators.
European Commission To Appeal Apple State Aid Decision
The European Commission will challenge the General Court’s judgment on the Apple State aid case in Ireland, according to a Sept. 25 statement.
“The General Court judgment raises important legal issues that are of relevance to the Commission in its application of State aid rules to tax planning cases,” Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said in the statement. “The Commission also respectfully considers that in its judgment the General Court has made a number of errors of law.”
Vestager previously indicated that the bloc would wait to decide whether to appeal the decision denying her determination that Apple took €13.1 billion (approximately $15.4 million) of Irish government aid, as reported in the past.
Data Activist: Big Tech Not Following Transatlantic Data Transfer Regulations
European privacy activist Max Schrems claims that Big Tech’s adherence to European limitations on transatlantic data transfers is lackluster, fudzilla reported.
Schrems’ digital rights organization NOYB held the poll, which followed 33 firms. Many of them were American, while a portion of them were British and European.
The group, whose acronym is short for “None of Your Business,” contended that Whats App, Netflix and Airbnb did provide a response. And Slack said it wouldn’t “voluntarily” provide American authorities with user information.
“The responses ranged from detailed explanations to admissions that these companies have no clue what is happening, to shockingly aggressive denials of the law,” Schrems said per the report.
Google Increases Collaboration With Smaller Rivals
Smaller Google competitors are indicating nicer behavior from the tech firm in the midst of claims on the part of the federal government and states that the firm harnesses its superiority to hamper competition, Reuters reported.
Flashtalking Chief Executive John Nardone said the tech firm consented to open a pathway to important information. That effort was one “that previously I might not have imagined they’d be open to,” Nardone said.
Six software firms that depend on Google informed the newswire that the firm has transformed into a more cooperative player on information privacy and additional changes with them, along with industry organizations.
House Antitrust Committee Witnesses Offer Big Tech Regulation Viewpoints
House Antitrust Subcommittee witnesses on Thursday (Oct. 1) differed on the issue of Congress revamping U.S. antitrust regulation.
Teachout said that it “is quintessentially a congressional job to respond to this threat.”
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School Professor Christopher Yoo had a differing opinion.
He contended that limiting firms to one line of business would be contrary to a core tenant of antitrust regulations — keeping consumers safe.
Yoo claims that taking apart the efficiencies of Amazon’s vertical integration would bring about increased consumer prices.
Report: China Is Getting Ready To Probe Google
China is gearing up to roll out an antitrust investigation into Google, probing claims that it has harnessed the eminence of its Android mobile technology to hamper rivals, CNBC reported Sept. 30, citing two unnamed sources.
One of the unnamed sources in the report indicated that a decision as to if a formal probe will happen could occur in October at the earliest and could be impacted by the country’s relationship with the U.S.
Huawei Technologies suggested the case in 2019, which has been sent to the antitrust committee of the State Council by the leading market watchdog in the country.