Updates on Microsoft-FTC Trial and Broadband Expansion

Yesterday, the federal non-jury trial between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission concluded. U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley will determine whether to issue a temporary injunction that will prevent Microsoft from completing its acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard—at least until further proceedings in the FTC’s in-house court are completed. A ruling on the temporary injunction is expected in the coming weeks.

Also this week, the White House announced how nearly $42.5 billion will be divided among U.S. states and territories for broadband expansion. VFI has been supporting policies to expand broadband access since 2017.

Enjoy your Fourth of July! Our roundup of tech policy news and a featured podcast appear below. Thank you for reading.

This Week in Washington 

Article Summary

  • Bloomberg Law: The union-friendly stance of Microsoft has opened up the door for organizing among online gaming studios nationwide, accelerating a wider trend of unionization where labor has historically struggled.
  • The New York Times and Oregon Live: With Montana set to ban TikTok in the state, TikTok creators filed a lawsuit claiming that the ban violates their First Amendment rights and TikTok is footing the bill. Meanwhile, legislators in Oregon passed and sent to Governor Tina Kotek’s desk a bill that would ban TikTok and other China- and Russia-based company’s apps and software, including WeChat and Kaspersky Labs tools, from state government devices. If signed into law, Montana and Oregon would join more than 30 states that have passed similar bans.
  • The Washington Post: Gen-Z – the youngest people making their way into the workforce – may be the best equipped and prepared to champion and use generative AI, which is being heavily integrated into workplace tools.
  • Axios: With schools often struggling to safeguard their computer systems, they easily become targets for ransomware hackers. Their inability to keep up is causing many school IT leaders to revisit their cybersecurity strategies.
  • The Hill: Australia is following in the European Union’s footsteps by introducing legislation that would implement fines against social media companies that fail to remove dis- and misinformation from their platforms.
  • Reuters: Internet giant Meta is removing news on their platforms Facebook and Instagram in Canada after the Canadian Parliament passed a law that would require them, and other major players, to pay publishers.

Featured Podcast

The Wall Street Journal

  • WSJ Tech News Briefing
    Snapchat launched an AI chatbot recently. And as users flooded to the feature, CEO Evan Spiegel says he discovered users’ embrace of AI could improve targeted advertising. Spiegel spoke at the WSJ’s Journal House during the Cannes Lions International Festival this week. We bring you highlights from that conversation. (AI Could Improve Ads on Social Media, Snap CEO Says – June 22, 2023)