Facebook, Biden Administration, Tiktok discussed on The Vergecast

The Vergecast
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You're the author of the extremely successful suback newsletter. Platformer thank you. So much the nation's nationsbank preeminent source the face gossip used to get it for free. You don't have to pay case any money. That's the thing that's right you don't have to. What's the five inside of facebook The the sense that i'm getting is they feel like this is extremely politically motivated that this is maybe a parting shot from the trump administration. It's not the only one. Remember the trump administration also just sued facebook over visas in what i frankly. Think is nationalist. Bullshit trying to get fewer foreign workers inside these companies. And so i think they think of this as on the same continuum but they also know that there is broad support for this and i do think that worries them. You know something. I've observed about. Facebook is that as they have gotten into various legal scrapes all around the world for many years now. They are victorious in the courts. More often than not and so this kind of thing may not chill them to the bone. The way that the excited re tweets and my timeline suggest they might they. They feel pretty confident in their case and again me somebody who has said hey. I think it'd be cool if we broke up facebook. I'm looking at the government's case. Know i'm not a lawyer but it just doesn't seem to be a a slam dunk narrative. So that's interesting. Because that's how i felt about the google case which google has been fighting a version of that case in europe which has stronger antitrust laws for a very long time and two who is still a dominant player in search and mobile in europe. I it just hasn't had any effect and they and they've done some of the things and they've they've lost some of those cases and made some changes the product in order to allow for more competition. There's a browser ballot and search engine ballot and android in europe. Now facebook. you're saying they've faced some of the stuff but it hasn't been at that level. Yeah it has not been at the level of. We're going to break up the company. But that's i think almost why they're confident that it will not get that far Like assume that the biden administration will continue on with this. But i also expect that the you know the biden era. Ftc might be more open to compromise and cooperation than a trump ftc. Would you sort of sketch out. What i think is actually going to happen here. Which is it will fall short of a break-up but they will put really stringent controls on any future manet and that itself will actually get us most of what we want because again tiktok is in the process of of chilling. You wanna know what actually scares people inside facebook. it's tiktok. I spent a summer listening to every all hands inside a facing out tiktok. It's not antitrust. I want push back a little bit on the biden claim. Just because you know there was this three to to vote in the ftc to take this action and both the two votes against it were republicans. So i if your like facebook right. Now i'm not sure that that the biden administration is gonna is like the cavalry. That's gonna save you. Yeah and the typically. It's not that. I think that they're the cavalry. Is that i think they will stop short of the most dramatic possible action that they could take. I think that It's sort of in any negotiation. You ask for way more than you expect to get in hopes of shifting the window like toward your position and i think that they can reach a settlement with facebook by saying all right all right all right you can keep instagram and whatsapp. But you have to agree to those really stringent pre merger. Review for everything going forward. You have to participate. Paid in these compliance audits from time to time and i really do think again as if what you want is competition in the marketplace at this point. You really hoping that. Facebook doesn't get to acquire the next instagram or the next. What's up more than you are. I think you know that they lose control of instagram. Two things about that. One point out of the trump administration tried to ban tiktok. Did they definitely just lost interest in banning took to tiktok as a competitor in an say. It's also a national security threat. But then the trump administration is seeking its revenge on us. I'm not saying that you can often describe. The trump administration as having a coherent policy worldview. But that's a that's just a lot of chaos right. Yeah i had a former high ranking. Facebook official asked me yesterday whether they thought that trump was trying to ban tiktok to improve the antitrust case against face. I wish i thought he was that clever. But to your point about this is in addition one. I don't think a bunch of state attorneys general who are politically minded. Who are seeking. The next office are coming at this like. They're buying a toyota right like they want the big win. Second in comparison to the google case which people love google. They're not so mad at it. That case is built on some wonky ad. Tech shit. Right dominance across markets and placement of results in mobile search. I just looked like this is complicated in weird. It doesn't look like it. Solving a problem. People have right now except for some conservatives think google is biased against them and the remedy is super clear as well. The remedy is some set of controls. Are like we're going to prevent search from working in this way and that just seems really hard and it seems like not a political winner the way that facebook is bad. It's ruining our lives. The narrative about conservative biases ten times stronger for facebook than Than google and the remedy is ultra easy to understand. We're gonna make instagram. Go over there in that to me. Seems like a much tighter package for any politician to go. Make hay on over and over. We saw yesterday bernie sanders. They're like yep. Here's the thing i've always wanted. Where's with the google case like it's true. Google has become quite powerful. Yeah i think there's a fair point like where where. I definitely agree with you..

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