This is the week that the tide
started to turn for Big Tech. In the US and Europe you’re
seeing regulators push forward and force the Big Tech platform
companies to make changes in their business model. Twitter over the last
few days announced that it’s going to start
policing political advertising. And now Facebook and Google are
under pressure to do the same. In Europe, the antitrust
commissioner Margrethe Vestager is talking about putting the
burden of proof for consumer good on the Big Tech
firms themselves when they’re embroiled
in antitrust suits. That’s a big deal. Because it would allow
some of the smaller players that claim they’ve been
hurt by big platform companies like Google,
or Facebook, or Amazon to not have to have all the
legal muscle improving a case. Australia is taking on new
privacy issues around Facebook, and Google’s Sidewalk
Labs project in Toronto is going to have to put
all the data collected from the smart city
in a public database. So it can be accessed not just
by Google, but by other firms and by taxpayers and citizens
in Toronto themselves. At the same time, you’ve got
Big Tech causing market jitters. SoftBank, over the
last few days announced its first shaky earnings. This is a company that helped
to bid up WeWork and Uber to record valuations. And then those companies
ended up disappointing. So in both politics and markets,
we’re seeing some big shifts. And I look for these
debates to push forward into the US 2020 campaign
and be a big election issue.