Tim Wu, Biden’s Anti-Big Tech Adviser, Has Been Living the Dream

4 days ago 18

Wu even suggests that we’ve turned a corner in stemming Big Tech’s dominance. “Ten years ago or whenever, they were able to get away with acquiring potential competitors, or making deals to lock out other companies,” he says. “It’s a much more challenging environment to do that kind of stuff, and in some ways, they’ve changed their conduct. And when they change their conduct, it’s harder to remain as entrenched as they were.”

Not everything has gone swimmingly in Wu’s tech policy domain. For reasons I can’t comprehend, we currently have no US chief technology officer; instead we have three deputy CTOs. And while the Biden administration made a gutsy move by nominating Gigi Sohn, a righteous foe of the Powers That Be, to the Federal Communications Commission, it hasn’t been aggressive enough in either pushing the nomination to a vote or finding someone else. As a result, almost halfway through Biden’s term, the Democrats still don’t have an FCC majority.

Still, it’s clear that the Biden administration has dramatically changed the antitrust atmosphere, much in the way Wu had been advocating for before he moved to DC. The question now is whether this momentum can outlive the administration. (Microsoft, after losing its suit in 1999 under Clinton’s DOJ, later won a friendly settlement from the incoming Bush Justice Department.) Also, the recent Supreme Court ruling that limited enforcement by the EPA might portend similar rollbacks on government action against monopolistic corporations. Wu admits that’s a concern. “We know we face a ...

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