The State Of Tech Influence: Google, Microsoft, Net Neutrality, And Amazon

Net Neutrality – The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee voted this past week to overturn net neutrality rules. This is a symbolic gesture which puts forward the GOP position on this issue. The Democrats cited Netflix and Google as examples of companies supporting the current FCC net neutrality  proposal.

What It Means – Very little. The Senate is controlled by the Democrats and the  President would likely veto such a proposal if it somehow had legs out of the Senate.

Amazon – Amazon taught the state of Illinois a valuable lesson this week by making good on their threat to cut ties with their affiliates if a state law went into effect requiring their affiliates to collect in-state sales tax. 

Why It’s Influential – States rely on this type of legislation to balance careful budgets and  Amazon’s refusal to go along with the proposal makes their influence  both in Illinois and in other states powerful. When companies talk a big game around technology but don’t take retaliatory action then  legislatures don’t take them seriously. 

Google & The Search Engine World – “In recent years, the dominance over Internet search of the world’s
largest search engine, Google, has increased and Google has increasingly sought to acquire e-commerce sites in myriad businesses,” – Those were Senator Kohl’s remarks on his intention to focus his antitrust subcommittee on Google’s dominance over the search engine market.

Yikes – Google has received scrutiny from the right and this shot from the left just isn’t what they need.
 
Microsoft vs. Everyone Else – A Washington State bill which fights software piracy and is backed by Microsoft has met fierce opposition from a number of major tech companies including IBM, Dell and Intel.

Why It’s Interesting – Microsoft claims they are fighting piracy while the other companies claim they are attempting to stop frivolous lawsuits, either way it is impressive to have such a high-profile lobbying tussle on the state level. Beyond Illinois’ tech killing online sales tax, here’s a state actually trying to create meaningful tech legislation.

 

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