As regulators zoom in on Big Tech, Big Telecom companies face less regulation

As federal regulators have cracked down on tech companies, telecom businesses have emerged as unlikely victors.


September 4, 2019

Big Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google find themselves in the strange position of playing defense against fines and increased scrutiny from federal agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

But, on the other end of the broadband spectrum, Big Telecom is benefiting from less regulation from the FCC, Axios reports.

So, what led to this shift?

Facebook, Google, and the like have been wylin’ for years, but now government agencies have finally started eyeballing them for anti-competitive behavior and other naughties. 

The FTC recently asked Google to pony up $200m to resolve issues surrounding children’s privacy law violations on Youtube, and it also fined Facebook $5B for privacy violations. 

Meanwhile, Congress has made several moves to reduce regulation for Big Telecom companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T. 

Now, Big Telecom poses a threat to Big Tech again

For years, heavy regulations have squeezed the telecom biggies. 

But the telecom industry seems to be finally catching a break: Pending a Justice Department greenlight, Sprint and T-Mobile may soon merge (they’ve already gotten FCC approval). 

AT&T and Verizon, which have put on their Captain America costumes to position themselves as powerhouses in the global race for 5G, are also the beneficiaries of friendly federal policy.

Now, if the DC Circuit Court agrees to the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality rules, broadband providers will score yet another victory. 

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