The Obama-Biden administration was an era of fascination for America’s tech companies – a moment when they were lionized as innovators, welcomed as jobbers and largely left alone. Now Joe Biden is coming back, this time as President. But times have changed. A session in Washington is unlikely to return for half a day when Biden took the oath of office in January with industry’s growing legislative and regulatory challenges, including strong enforcement of antitrust laws – ending President Donald Trump’s term Almost something for.
“The technology is fully implemented,” said Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University and co-director of its High Tech Law Institute. In the years after Barack Obama and Biden left the White House, the tech industry’s political fortunes have shone. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have come under scrutiny from Congress, federal regulators, the state’s Attorney General and European officials. Twitter consistently found itself with lawmakers about its policies to moderate content on its platform. And companies have seen their political support in the abolition of Congress.
Industrialists on both sides of the aisle are on the industry’s strong side, the logic of its huge market power out of control, crushing smaller competitors and endangering consumers’ privacy. They say that companies hide behind the legal shield to cultivate false information or eliminate bias on their social media networks. In stages, Biden, who can aim to break out of Big Tech’s dominance and welcome the opportunity to work with the opposing side to block the power of a common adversary. As a presidential contender, Biden said the breakdown of large tech companies should be considered.
Those types of mandatory breakouts through a legislative overhaul would be a radical move for Congress and could be a bridge too far for most Republicans. Although not settled, Biden faced the prospect of becoming the first Democrat in modern history to assume office without controlling his party Congress. Republicans would retain control of the Senate by winning one of two runoff elections in Georgia in January. The Democrats have already won the House. Republican control of the Senate forced Biden to curb his ambitions and pursue a different legislative agenda, rooted in bipartisanship.