The regulatory woes of Big Tech multiply

“HOW DID YOU go bankrupt?…Gradually and then suddenly.” Many technology entrepreneurs know this quote, from a novel by Ernest Hemingway—and often, from experience. The words have, of late, taken on new meaning. After years during which tech’s titans could do no wrong, they are now being pulled into a vortex of regulatory woes that make headlines almost daily. Big Tech is not about to implode. But will it come out intact?

The latest burst of antitrust activity came on July 24th, when Facebook said that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an American regulatory agency, had launched an investigation into the company. The news came soon after the FTC released details of a much-anticipated privacy settlement with the firm.

The social network will pay a $5bn fine for violating a previous privacy deal with the FTC. But Facebook also agreed to formalise its privacy processes, for instance by creating a special committee on its board and by designating compliance officers. Its boss, Mark Zuckerberg, will also have to certify the firm’s compliance—which could make him personally liable should Facebook fail to get its act together.

A day earlier, America’s Department of Justice announced that it would look into how big online platforms have achieved market power and whether they abuse it. The DoJ did not say which firms it...



via Business Feeds

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