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OpenMarket: Tech and Telecom

  • A Bright Spot for Tech on USMCA Day

    July 1, 2020
    Today the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement goes into effect. Despite its many flaws, it contains a beneficial provision related to the tech sector. The language of Article 19.17 of the USMCA is similar that of Section 230, the U.S. law governing intermediary liability for web services that has allowed the U.S. tech sector to grow into the dominant world leader we know it as today.
  • A Cellular Network or a Jobs Program? Sprint/T-Mobile Critics Launch Misguided Attacks

    June 26, 2020
    The recently-approved Sprint/T-Mobile merger is already coming under fire after layoffs were announced. But even the harshest critics begrudgingly acknowledge that the jobs being eliminated are no longer necessary because of the efficiencies gained by the merger. The focus on jobs alone as a measure of policy efficacy neglects how economically sustainable jobs are created in the first place.
  • The Flawed EARN IT Act: Rights and Common Sense Should Not Have to Be Earned

    June 24, 2020
    The EARN IT Act is set for a markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee as early as this Thursday. Essentially the bill conditions intermediary liability protections for web services, known as Section 230, on yet-to-be-determined regulatory guidance regarding online child sexual abuse material (CSAM). While the need to combat CSAM is clear, the EARN IT Act is a fundamentally flawed vehicle for doing so.
  • Is Apple a Bad Antitrust Apple?

    June 22, 2020
    The European Union announced last week that it is pursuing two antitrust probes against the tech giant. EU authorities are investigating whether Apple violated European competition laws through its App Store or Apple Pay. Those cases will likely require some fancy footwork from European antitrust enforcers, but winning a case against Apple stateside would be an even bigger lift.
  • House Judiciary Setting up Political Theater Disguised as Tech Antitrust Hearing

    June 16, 2020
    Sometime next month, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to hold a hearing on competition and antitrust featuring the CEOs of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. All indications suggest that this hearing will be nothing more than a political stunt.
  • Calls to “Reform” Section 230 of Communications Decency Act Are Misguided—and Thankfully Unlikely to Succeed

    June 11, 2020
    This week, four U.S. Senators asked the FCC to “take a fresh look at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act .” Real changes to Section 230 will require congressional action. You know, like the kind of thing U.S. Senators are elected to do. But the Senators know there’s little chance of legislation on this front.
  • Executive Order on Social Media Threatens Property Rights and Free Speech

    May 28, 2020
    Today’s Executive Order on Section 230 liability protections for online platforms violates the First Amendment and property rights of social media companies, contradicts the most relevant case law, and ignores the actual language of Section 230 of the Communications Decency act.
  • Presidential Panel on Social Media Bias Misfires

    May 26, 2020
    Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration is considering forming a panel to investigate charges of discrimination against right-leaning users and content by social media platforms. Yet, there isn’t much proof of systemic bias against the right beyond the anecdotal.
  • Glaring Problems with Latest Right-Wing Attack on Section 230

    May 22, 2020
    A recent opinion editorial in Newsweek is the latest salvo from the political right against Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Couched in criticisms of tech platforms’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis, the article succinctly lays out most of the main arguments emanating from the right against Section 230. That makes it an ideal target for rebuttal.
  • Let Local News Outlets Bail Each Other Out

    May 15, 2020
    Allowing common ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations would allow them to achieve economies of scale in their sales departments and other keys aspects of their operations. Entrepreneurs and companies with investments in local media are natural suitors to other local outlets seeking capital and other efficiencies. Yet, regulations are keeping these ideal investors on the sidelines.

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