Google and Big Tech Bought Congress

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Fifty state attorneys general launched an antitrust investigation into Google’s advertising business in September 2019; they are now expanding their probe to include Google’s search and Android businesses as well
  • Google is expanding into banking as well. Through a partnership with Citigroup and a San Francisco University credit union, the company is planning to offer checking accounts tied to Google Pay sometime in 2020
  • So far, the European Union has taken a far stronger stance against Google’s monopoly. In 2018, it fined Google $5 billion for Android antitrust abuse and, in 2017, the company was fined $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring its own shopping service over its competitors
  • Big Tech is pushing for the inclusion of protection mirroring Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in various free trade agreements, to protect them from foreign regulations. Section 230 provides internet platforms liability protection for user-generated content
  • While Section 230 makes free speech online possible for everyone, it also allows Google, YouTube and Facebook to filter out and censor whatever they want while still qualifying as a platform rather than a curator of content

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