Bringing Big Tech To Heel By Having Small Tech; Was DEI A ZIRP?
European Tech Regulation vs. American Approach
Tech regulation proponents in the US Senate recently traveled to Belgium to learn from their EU counterparts’ success in “bringing Big Tech to heel.” The key difference between the two approaches lies in how data privacy regulations are treated. In Europe, these regulations are treated as “human rights” cases, while in America, they fall under the umbrella of “consumer protection.” Additionally, the American system heavily considers economic growth, which can impact the regulation of tech companies.
Decrease in European Tech Sector Value
The European tech sector has experienced a significant decrease in value as tech investors have decreased their investments. Over the past two years, the entire public and private European tech sector has dropped from a peak of $3.1 trillion to $2.7 trillion in 2022. This decline in value has been partly attributed to the rise of tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, whose market caps have surpassed those of European tech companies combined.
DEI Programs and Fragile Progress
Companies faced a choice following the Supreme Court’s overturning of affirmative action for college admissions programs. They could either maintain their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts or succumb to pressure from conservative groups. Despite potential legal challenges, many companies have chosen to continue their DEI programs. However, progress in this area remains fragile, as evidenced by backlash faced by big brands like Target and Bud Light for their marketing campaigns targeting LGBTQ+ and younger, more diverse customers.
Writers Guild Strike and Revenue Sharing
The Writers Guild of America recently suspended its strike after reaching a tentative agreement with the studios. The focus of the negotiations primarily revolved around revenue sharing from streaming services. Notably, neither the writers nor the actors’ guilds made any claim to a portion of the ad revenue generated by streaming services. Instead, their focus was on transitioning the share of subscription and syndication revenue earmarked for writers from linear TV to streaming subscriptions.