Tech giants are fighting back with money


June 7, 2019

Today, Aaron Rodgers’ wallet isn’t getting any thinner, and ice cream truck drivers are pinching for dinner, but first…

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With regulation ’round the corner, Big Tech lobbyists suit up for the Big Leagues

After regulators announced plans to put Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon under the microscope on Monday, the tech giants doubled down on a defensive strategy: lobbying lawmakers.

The 4 behemoths of Big Tech spent a combined $55m lobbying in Washington last year — 2x what they spent in 2016. Now, it looks like they’re gearing up to burn an even bigger pile o’ cash.

Big Tech’s legion of loyal lobbyists 

In the first quarter of this year, 238 people were registered to lobby for tech’s Big 4, and 75% of them once worked in government or on political campaigns. In typical lobbying fashion, many of them worked for the very politicians they are now paid to influence.

Since politicians on both sides of the aisle are calling for the breakup of Big Tech, the surest path to safety for tech giants is to spend and schmooze as widely as possible.

Who to trust and who to anti-trust…?

Some connections between tech and government officials are very direct: The head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division used to work as a contract lobbyist for Google.

Also, last month, the Internet Association — which represents tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Amazon — awarded its “Internet Freedom Award” to Ivanka Trump.

Other efforts by Big Tech to influence policy are less direct: Facebook, Google, and other tech giants funnel oodles of cash into think tanks across the political spectrum.

Big Tech joins the Big Lobbying Club

Antitrust arguments against Big Tech likely won’t go away any time soon.

Now, Big Tech’s lobbying machine will likely join Big Auto, Big Banks, and Big Military Contractors in lobbying’s Big Leagues — and stick around Washington for years to come.

Have trust in the anti-trust

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Future hall of famer Aaron Rodgers can now call himself a current venture capitalist

Aaron Rodgers and his partners at Rx3 Ventures announced a $50m fund to focus on consumer brands.

Rx3 has already invested in companies like CorePower Yoga, Hims, and VICIS — a company that makes safer football helmets.

The trend is real

Rodgers is only the latest added to the long roster of athletes looking to score big in the investment world. In 2016, Kobe Bryant launched a $100m fund where he has invested in companies like The Players’ Tribune and LegalZoom.

Serena Williams has invested in 34 startups in the past 5 years, and basically everyone on the Golden State Warriors has made good use of their close proximity to Silicon Valley.

*Has too much cash, becomes venture capitalist*

Many famed sports stars of yesteryear postponed the true potential of their business careers until after they hung up their [insert sports shoe here].

But these days, as many teams pay their stars more than ever before, why not get started early?

» Get it while it’s hot

New York City ice cream trucks seized for shirking $4.5m in fines

Revenge is a cone best served cold as New York City towed away dozens of ice cream trucks on Wednesday for financially gaming the system.

According to The New York Times, the city is accusing the truck owners of owing $4.5m in fines for roughly 22.5k unpaid parking and traffic violations.

For ice cream trucks, Manhattan is the big leagues…

With tourists willing to pay top dollar for cones in the crowded streets of Times Square, Midtown revs rampant with ice cream trucks — but, with limited parking and NYC’s stern regulations, tickets have become a crippling expense for vendors.

The city alleges an onslaught of companies — totaling a number of 76 ice cream trucks — planned a scheme to avoid paying tickets for running red lights, using bus lanes and parking in crosswalks.

In order to duck city officials seeking to collect, the corporations reportedly re-registered their trucks under different shell companies — names like Ice Boyz, Ice Mania, and Twirly Twirl Ice Inc. were a few that stood out.

Cleanin’ up the cream

34 of the 46 “worst offenders” were towed in what the city is calling “Operation Meltdown.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the crackdown “marks the end of the road for these scofflaw ice cream vendors” — see what he did there?

» I scream, you scream…
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Save the sea → Advertisement shower thoughts

  1. The better a dating app is, the faster you’re supposed to delete it
  2. Failure is spelling a word so badly that there are no spelling suggestions
  3. At one point, some people were pissed off because they were late to the Titanic
  4. Images of Earth are actually group selfies where no one paid attention to the camera
  5. A person carrying a cup of fresh coffee in each hand is defenseless and quite dangerous simultaneously
  6. via Reddit

trends exclusive

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