News roundup: fallout continues after US probes big tech

A roundup of this week's tech news, including the fallout from the US's big tech probe, Twitter's Joe Biden-related snafu, and AR goggles for dogs.

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Big tech antitrust probe fallout continues

The fallout from the US government's huge antitrust report last week has continued to plague big tech companies in the country, as various entities voice their opinions and further ramifications start to take shape. The US House Judiciary Committee released the report last Tuesday, investigating the power of some of the country's largest technology companies and specifically how their behaviour seeks to gain further monopolisation of their respective fields.

The report outlined a lot of recommendations including limitations on dominant platforms operating in adjacent lines of business, requirements for interoperability and data portability, non-discrimination requirements, a ban on self-preferencing, and tighter controls on mergers. If administered, either in whole or even in part, these recommendations would have an astounding impact on the way the technology industry currently operates.

Of course, the tech companies themselves – including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google -  were quick to dismiss the claims of the report as largely malarkey, with Amazon branding the findings as "fringe notions", and "regulatory spit balling," while Facebook said its business represents an "American success story."

It's clear, though, that this issue isn't fading away any time soon for these companies. To top off the Democrat-led report, Trump administration official William Barr is soon poised to file a monopoly-abuse lawsuit against Google, putting bipartisan pressure on the search and advertising giant. Meanwhile, the chair of the antitrust subcommittee, David Cicilline, said that he expects to draft legislation acting upon the report's recommendations by the end of the year.

Not one to shy away from an anti-trust spat, reports surfaced this week that the European Union is also considering applying more pressure on US-based tech behemoths. According to the Financial Times,  EU regulators are cooking up a "hit list" of roughly 20 companies that will face stricter regulatory hurdles relating to market competition and operational activities. Ultimately, it hasn't been a great couple of weeks for the people of Silicon Valley.

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