Biden’s anti-Big Tech adviser Tim Wu has been living the dream

Wu even hinted that we have turned a corner in curbing the dominance of Big Tech. “A decade ago or anytime, they could have gotten away with acquiring a potential competitor or shutting other companies out with a deal,” he said. “It’s a more challenging environment to do this kind of thing, and in some ways, they’ve changed their behavior. And when they change their behavior, it’s harder to become as ingrained as it used to be.”

In Wu’s tech policy world, not everything is going smoothly.For reasons I cannot understand, we currently have No US CTO; Instead, we have three deputy CTOs.Although the Biden administration has taken bold steps Nominate Gigi SohnAs the righteous enemy of power, the FCC has not been aggressive enough to push the nomination vote or find others. As a result, Democrats still don’t have a majority on the FCC nearly halfway through Biden’s term.

Still, it’s clear that a Biden administration has dramatically changed the antitrust climate, much in a way that Wu had been advocating before moving to Washington. The question now is whether the momentum can outlast the government. (Microsoft later won an amicable settlement with the incoming Bush DOJ after losing a case against Clinton’s DOJ in 1999.) Moreover, the Supreme Court recently ruled EPA’s Limited Enforcement May herald a similar setback in government action against monopolies. Wu admits this is a problem. “We know we face a challenging judicial environment,” he said. “We have to be very careful about the rules; we have to make sure they are comprehensive. But the good news is that in many of these cases, we are just taking advantage of an authority that has been around for a long time.” He also noted that government support Proposed Antitrust Legislation. (However, as far as I know, irrelevant It’s cracking the minds of Congress to get it done. )

At the end of our conversation, Wu talked about what it’s like to work on antitrust action inside the White House. “It was a treat, an opportunity to try and put into practice something I’ve been thinking about or writing about for the past two decades,” he said. “In that regard, it’s an experience of a lifetime.” After wrapping up, not long after our conversation, not surprisingly, Bloomberg reports Wu will return to private life “in the coming months”.Wu Tweet quickly Rumours of his departure were “much exaggerated”. In government, no one has a monopoly on non-denial.

time travel

The last time the U.S. government made a big splash on tech antitrust was when it sued Microsoft.The government won the case — Bill Gates and the company did compete illegally — but in November 1999 Weekly newspaper Column, I wonder if the judge’s plan to break up the company makes sense.

Just as Microsoft appears to be denying its past, Judge Thomas Penfield-Jackson appears to be denying its future. True, in his 207-page “Fact Findings,” the judge in Microsoft’s antitrust lawsuit convincingly corroborates the government’s key allegations that the company has overstepped its boundaries and forcibly recruited its captive business allies to defend its turf. . (Microsoft insists its behavior is exemplary.) But not all of the judge’s ruling deals are true. Some of it is speculation about how the computer market will develop in the next few years. Some of these, despite appeals court warnings against judicial whimsy about software design, Justice Jackson has a surprisingly confident view of what does and does not belong in the operating system (OS).

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