Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous and Dan Howley discuss how big tech could be in the crosshairs no matter the election results.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOUROS: Does big tech care who wins the White House? Here to talk about it is our tech editor Dan Howley. So Dan, do you think that the big tech– I’m talking the FANG stocks here. Are they hoping one person wins over the other because maybe some of their antitrust headaches may go away or at least lessen, anyway?
DAN HOWLEY: I don’t think they’re concerned with who gets elected as far as their biggest issues go because regardless of who ends up in the White House, they’re still going to have huge headaches on their hands. We’re talking about the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Amazon– sorry, Facebook.
And really, you know, there’s the antitrust issues that are going on. That has widespread bipartisan support. You saw that from the House Committee report, basically outlining the issues that Democrats have. And then Republicans also saying they take issue with the same things that Democrats laid out. Although, what it comes down to is how they want to approach them. That’s really where the differences start to surface. But still, they both have issues as far as antitrust goes.
The Justice Department and state attorneys general also in antitrust investigations or effectively filed a suit, such as the case to Google, but investigating the likes of Facebook, Apple, and Amazon. That is going to continue. It’s obvious it has widespread bipartisan support. And you saw that from the DOJ announcement where state attorneys general who didn’t sign on from Democratic states still said that they would support if they found and wrapped up their investigations. They would join with the investigations from the DOJ and the Republican state attorneys general. So there’s support there.
And then as far as this Section 230 debate goes, you know, that’s gotten a lot of kind of, you know, vision as far as President Trump because of his tweets, his posts on Facebook, those being pulled back by Twitter or Facebook or censored or putting on, you know, some kind of notification, saying, look, this is incorrect or, you know, here’s more to the story than that, putting warnings up about President Trump calling for violence, things like that.
So he’s pushed Section 230 controls because of that. But then Democrats, they’re pushing Section 230 controls because they’re fed up with the spread of misinformation and disinformation on social media platforms. So they also want to see an overhauled Section 230. So either side, Section 230 is going to continue to be an issue.
And then as far as the likes of Huawei and those issues over in China, that has been a bipartisan issue the entire time. The Obama administration originally brought that up. And then it was carried over into the Trump administration. So this is a matter that’s going to continue again, regardless of who’s in the White House. And I think, you know, as we’re seeing the election go through, I don’t think big tech is going to think that, one way or the other, their headaches will be resolved.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOUROS: All right, tech editor Dan Howley, thanks so much.