Google Accuses Microsoft of ‘Carving Out’ Exception in Anti-Big Tech Bill

Google’s Chief Legal Officer and President of Global Affairs Kent Walker accused Microsoft on Friday of “carving out” an exception to a bill targeting app stores operated by Google and Apple.

The Open App Markets Act, introduced by Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in a near-unanimous vote Thursday. Microsoft president Brad Smith applauded the passage of the bill in tweet shortly after, writing that the legislation “would promote competition, and ensure fairness and innovation in the app economy.”

Walker responded to Smith’s tweet accusing the software company of “carving out” an exception in the legislation favoring Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console and service.

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‘You Broke the Military’: Milley, Austin Set for Second Congressional Grilling on Afghanistan

Top American military leaders are set for another round of intense congressional grilling on Wednesday, following a day-long Tuesday session that at times featured blistering criticism of their part in the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

The Tuesday hearing placed on the griddle Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Frank McKenzie; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

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Facebook Suspends ‘Instagram Kids’ Following Investigation Into Platform’s Effect on Teens

Facebook has paused development of a version of its image-sharing platform Instagram specifically geared towards children, the company announced Monday.

The tech giant decided to suspend work on the project in order to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators,” and “demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, wrote in a statement Monday.

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Arizona Senate Candidate Blake Masters’ Plans to Tackle Big Tech’s ‘Predatory’ Business Practices

Woman in a red suit on Smartphone

Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to break up Big Tech and ban their business practices he believes are harmful.

“I think Republicans need to reacquaint themselves with their history of antitrust enforcement, and realize huge concentrations of power in private hands can violate people’s liberties just as much as government,” Masters said in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Masters, who announced his candidacy in July, serves as chief operating officer at investment firm Thiel Capital and runs the Thiel Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. He competes in a crowded Republican primary with fellow candidate and current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for the chance to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in 2022.

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States, Not Congress, Could Pose the Biggest Threat to Tech Companies

Despite calls for increased regulation of the tech industry, Congress has yet to pass any major legislation, leaving it up to the states to take action curbing tech companies’ power and influence.

Meanwhile, state legislatures have introduced and enacted legislation on data privacy, antitrust, and content moderation, while state attorneys general have issued a number of legal challenges alleging anticompetitive business practices.

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Apple to Overhaul Its App Store in $100 Million Class Action Settlement

Apple proposed a settlement with app developers Thursday, requiring the tech company to restructure its app store and change some of its more controversial practices.

The agreement, still pending court approval, would settle a class action antitrust lawsuit filed by app developers against Apple for alleged anticompetitive practices in its app store.

The company will now permit app developers to use information obtained in their apps to directly communicate with consumers about payment options outside the app store, Apple announced in court filings Thursday. This helps developers avoid paying Apple a commission on app purchases, and grants developers greater control over their apps.

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Sen. Blackburn Introduces Resolution Condemning Critical Race Theory in Schools

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Mike Braun (R-IN) in introducing a resolution to condemn the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 schools. 

“Critical race theory has no place in American schools. The tenets of critical race theory are based in the destructive ideal of inherent racism and will teach our children to judge and self-segregate based solely on skin color,” Blackburn said. “Students should not be discriminated on the basis of race under any circumstances.”

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Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Praises Deal Involving Solar Company with Alleged Ethics Problems

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) this week praised a deal involving a Georgia electric cooperative and a Tennessee-based solar power company, the latter of which has a history of alleged ethics violations. This, according to a press release that members of Duncan’s staff published on his website.

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