12.1.20 – CI
How will tech giants including Amazon, Apple, Google, & Facebook change with Joe Biden in the White House and what could it mean for AV?
While it’s certainly too early to say what Joe Biden’s first term as president of the United States will mean for AV integrators and other tech business leaders in the next four-plus years, it’s clear that Biden’s policies seem less friendly to large corporations than President Donald Trump’s have been.
That won’t mean we’ll see AVI-SPL, Diversified and some of the other large AV integrators forced to divest interest in part of their businesses but it could affect some of the manufacturers who have helped them grow to the billion-dollar revenue level.
Here’s more from a recent Associated Press report:
The halcyon days of an adoring Washington are unlikely to return when Biden takes the oath of office in January, with mounting legislative and regulatory challenges to the industry — including stronger enforcement of antitrust laws — nearly certain to outlast the tenure of President Donald Trump.
“The techlash is in full force,” said Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University and co-director of its High Tech Law Institute.
In the years since Barack Obama and Biden left the White House, the tech industry’s political fortunes have flipped. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have come under scrutiny from Congress, federal regulators, state attorneys general and European authorities.
Twitter has found itself in frequent run-ins with lawmakers over its policies for moderating content on its platform. And companies have seen their political support in Congress erode.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle champion stronger oversight of the industry, arguing its massive market power is out of control, crushing smaller competitors and endangering consumers’ privacy.
They say the companies hide behind a legal shield to allow false information to flourish on their social media networks or to entrench bias.
In steps Biden, who may aim to take a bite out of the dominance of Big Tech and may welcome an opportunity to work with the opposing side to curb the power of a common adversary.
As a presidential contender, Biden said the breakup of big tech companies should be considered. Dismantling the tech giants is “something we should take a really hard look at,” he told The Associated Press in an interview. He said he wants to see quickly crimped the social media companies’ long-held legal protections for speech on their platforms. And he singled out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for scorn, calling him “a real problem.”
The Biden administration is also expected to press forward with the Trump Justice Department’s new antitrust lawsuit against Google, though its shape likely could be changed.
But if Biden decides to pursue major legislation to overhaul the laws governing tech competition, he’ll have to navigate a tricky congressional and political landscape.
Democratic lawmakers in the House, after a sweeping investigation by a Judiciary Committee panel, called last month for Congress to rein in Big Tech, possibly forcing the giants to break up their businesses while making it harder for them to acquire others and imposing new rules to safeguard competition.
Those kinds of mandated breakups through a legislative overhaul would be a radical step for Congress to take and could be a bridge too far for most Republicans.
As with most things in politics these days, both sides are firmly entrenched in their opinions and there doesn’t seem to be much room for compromise. We’ll see what that means for AV integrators and manufacturers in the months and years ahead.