U.S. tech chief executives expected to testify before House panel in late July

WASHINGTON – The chief executives of the four U.S. tech giants — Amazon.com, Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Apple — will testify before the U.S. Congress in late July as part of an ongoing antitrust probe into the companies, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Apple’s Tim Cook will appear as part of the probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust…

"U.S. tech chief executives expected to testify before House panel in late July"

Firms in India downplay Chinese links amid wave of anti-China sentiment

NEW DELHI – Indian startups with Chinese funding and Chinese smartphone makers are actively touting their Indian-ness to users as they seek to address a growing wave of nationalism following a deadly border clash between the two countries earlier this month. A skirmish between India and China at a disputed Himalayan border site left 20 Indian soldiers dead, adding to anti-China sentiments brewing since the coronavirus pandemic began. Traders have since made calls to boycott…

"Firms in India downplay Chinese links amid wave of anti-China sentiment"

Google stymies media companies from chipping away at its data dominance

OAKLAND, Calif. – Alphabet Inc’s Google upended plans by European media companies to block it from harvesting data about their readers and slash some of its dominance in online advertising, seven people involved in the talks said this month. Publishers had expected to use data privacy measures going into effect Aug. 15 to bar Google from storing insights about readers, sapping the data advantage that has enabled it to dominate a market filled with advertisers…

"Google stymies media companies from chipping away at its data dominance"

Sara, Sonia, Sofia: Spotify plans local versions of hit podcast ‘Sandra’

– Spotify Technology on Tuesday plans to announce local language adaptations of a popular scripted podcast as part of the Swedish music streaming company’s strategy to appeal to a wider global audience. The first show, available globally on July 7, will be Sandra, a scripted podcast released in 2018 by Gimlet, later bought by Spotify, and will be released in France, Germany, Mexico and Brazil. The new format is far more ambitions than translating shows…

"Sara, Sonia, Sofia: Spotify plans local versions of hit podcast ‘Sandra’"

Digital music provider Artlist raises $48 million led by KKR

JERUSALEM – Israel’s Artlist, a provider of royalty free digital music, said on Monday it raised $48 million in a private funding round led by investment firm KKR. Existing investor Elephant Partners also joined in the round. Artlist said the funds will be used to expand its digital stock offerings to meet demand by a growing number of YouTube and other content creators. Artlist, which has licensed more than 20 million digital assets over the…

"Digital music provider Artlist raises $48 million led by KKR"

DHS asks U.S. tech CEOs to ensure online platforms are not used to spur violence

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to chief executives of five large tech companies asking them to ensure social media platforms are not used to incite violence in the wake of nationwide protests following George Floyd’s death. “I am writing to ask you to do your part to put an end to violence and illegal activity spreading across our country by ensuring that your platforms are not used as a…

"DHS asks U.S. tech CEOs to ensure online platforms are not used to spur violence"

Senators to propose reform to key U.S. tech liability shield

WASHINGTON – Republican Senator John Thune said he will introduce legislation on Wednesday intended to reform Section 230 – a federal law that largely exempts tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter from legal liability for the material their users post. The bipartisan legislation, titled the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act, or PACT, aims to “provide for more accountability and transparency for large tech platforms with respect to content moderation decisions,” said Thune, the…

"Senators to propose reform to key U.S. tech liability shield"

U.S. letter to firms gives little clarity on new Huawei curb, lawyers say

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has sent new guidance to companies struggling to understand the scope of a measure unveiled last month that aims to crack down on chip sales to China’s blacklisted telecoms equipment maker Huawei [HWT.UL], has learned. But the guidance, included in a June 16 letter sent by the U.S. Commerce Department to some semiconductor designers and producers this month, provides little clarity, industry lawyers said. The “Department of Commerce would like…

"U.S. letter to firms gives little clarity on new Huawei curb, lawyers say"

Kenya video-conference platform elbows its way into crowded field

NAIROBI – Tiny Kenyan start-up Gumzo is a minnow on the booming teleconferencing scene but its creators hope the platform will help companies spend more of their cash in Africa rather than on foreign technology companies. Gumzo, which means “chatting” in Swahili, went live three weeks ago and now charges users $1 a week for hosting unlimited meetings, less than a third of the price of Zoom. “We just thought of all this money streaming…

"Kenya video-conference platform elbows its way into crowded field"

U.S. Justice Department to propose rolling back protections for big tech

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to proposes legislation as soon as Wednesday to try to remove protections that big tech platforms like Alphabet’s Google and Facebook have had for decades, a department official said on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. President Donald Trump said in late May he would propose legislation that may scrap or weaken a law that has protected internet companies, including Twitter, in an extraordinary attempt to regulate…

"U.S. Justice Department to propose rolling back protections for big tech"