2021.03.12 Last Week in Digital Media


Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media. Here’s all the news you may have missed:





  • Facebook filed a motion to dismiss various anti-trust lawsuits. Facebook details its arguments in a lengthy blog post. The FTC and the states pursuing Facebook have until April to respond.
  • Australia’s competition regulator (ACCC) has released a discussion paper examining search and browsers (PDF link) that examines topics such as choice of browser and default search options. The paper is looking for public submissions by April 15th and will release recommendations late-September/early October. If you’re interested in browser market share numbers, you can find them here.
  • the US House Judiciary Committee hearing on “Saving a Diverse and Free Press” was held on Friday (3/12). During the hearing, in a series of tweets, Google defended its position on news and attacked Microsoft. Separately, lawmakers introduced legislation that received bipartisan support that would enable local news organizations to collectively negotiate with key platforms.
  • there is speculation that the Biden Administration is vetting Associate Professor Lina Khan for an FTC nomination. Khan authored a breakthrough piece of antitrust thinking called “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” which is a must-read as it reframes the traditional view of antitrust laws and why consumer harm tests are not enough when considering market power. It is important thinking in the context of modern antitrust debates is as it strikes at the heart of the big tech argument “that consumers get things for free or cheaply so, therefore, there is no harm and no antitrust issue.” Khan argues otherwise, and if she does join the FTC, then it’s important we all understand Khan’s work as it will have wide implications for the ad industry. Another good paper from Khan is this one on the separation of platform and commerce.


Have a great week.


PS. The distraction of the week is Wombo.ai. It’s an app (iOS and Android) that lets you create deep fakes of you-lip syncing selected songs. I can’t vouch for the privacy policy or security risks (or resulting personal embarrassments). FYI. The Wombo server has also been getting smashed, so it might take a few attempts.

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