Should the government break up big tech? (The Daily Charge 7/16/2019)
The Daily Charge
Today on the daily charge, what's dominating prime day, how much of your kids are on their phone>> Breaking up big tech and area 51
Okay, so Amazon offered an update on how its prime day sale is going so far.
And said, everything is great, please Continue shopping [UNKNOWN]
The company also mentioned that this is really no surprise the fire TV stick and the Echo Dot were two of its best sellers.
This makes sense to me because they make those products they were able to basically gauge what the prices were specifically for them.
And those generally are the items that never.
Go out of stock because they make them so they have a ton of them.
Yeah and they're also some of the lowest price point deals that are consistent throughout the day, you don't have to worry about it being alightning deal and missing it.
It's gonna be there and it's gonna be heavily promoted cuz Amazon wants to sell its own stuff.
Yes, so Joan, did you buy anything on Prime Day?
Because I can tell you I did not buy anything really all that
It's not over yet.
You sold me out yesterday, so I'm going to sell you out that your wife...
For Prime Day.
And I just got Reynolds Wrap for seven dollars, right before the show.
I've spent hundreds of dollars, because I knew that we need a new food processor and so I just waited until Prime Day.
That's you know how Prime Day is kind of changed summer shopping.
It's created like a wait to buy moment.
That didn't exist six years ago.
Anyway next up a new survey from the phone comparison site.
Gonna struggle to save this cell cell found that 42% of kids ages four to 14 are using phones over 30 hours a week.
I can tell you, my kids are probably among this and they're in the year.
Younger said, so.
John, do you do you restrict the kids phone usage?
Or is this at all surprising to you?
And I think one of the hard things to really understand from stats like this is like what is using a phone like I don't let my kids Have a phone.
But when I need them to be calm for like three minutes-
I'll let them watch a video on mine instead of using a phone, and they're under four.
It is using a phone.
But it's just like calling grandma using a phone, I'm not really sure.
Doing Facetime with grandma.
So there's a lot of, and I think that's where the numbers are hard to see where the applications are really helpful.
And one of the steps that they have is that I think 70% of parents say that Cell phone usage is helpful for their kids [UNKNOWN]
Yeah, I think so, too, obviously, they need to learn how to pinch and zoom at two years old.
That's what happens at my house, either way, more than 1.2 million people have signed to attend the September 20th event in the Nevada desert to storm Area 51 to find out of there are aliens there.
I would obviously love to be at this event except for the fact that it's fake.
It's not a real event.
What are you gonna do?
The event is fake but the memes are real.
This has turned into a bit of a sensation online, and to me it's actually kinda fun To see that sometimes the internet can be fun and.
Great darkness under right?
I mean most of the time it is darkness but at the.
Same time guess it's like the cutest government conspiracy.
The Queen, just one that we have going on right now.
Well the other dark part of it is is that the Air Force right jumped in and said
For God's sakes people do not show up.
We really don't want you here.
Because we might shoot you.
I mean, like, please don't show up.
So yeah, definitely.
So anyway, we wanted to get up to our lead story today.
The House Judiciary Committee will host
Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple to discuss antitrust issues and competition.
So we talked about this a little bit yesterday.
But Joan, as far as regulation, breaking up big tech, what are your expectations as far as like, Is any of this stuff gonna happen or are we just gonna talk about it a lot.
So We know the track record that so far there hasn't been a lot of action yet.
But, it's clear we've had to cover more congressional hearings with big tech companies in the last two years than we have but I can't remember>> Yeah, absolutely>> So
That's the first stage to there being some sort of action.
It doesn't necessarily have to be action in Congress or focused on Congress today, because there are these two hearings going on.
But there could be regulatory action.
We're hearing about how there could be antitrust action taking place at [UNKNOWN].
The FTC or the FCC, so there's definitely an impetuous among leaders that are in power right now, and it's a conversation for the 2020 elections, too.
It's a big-
Election campaign [UNKNOWN] Right now too.
So Wall Street Journal, late last week, talked about how the FTC came to an agreement with Facebook.
Where there's gonna be a $5 billion fine about just the way that Facebook had inappropriately used data, had just misused a lot of the user data.
5 billion sounds like a real big number.
I know what your answer is gonna be to this, but I think it's really important to discuss.
Do you think that's going to change anything on the side of Facebook or Big Tech?
That there are these monster fines that came out not only from the FTC that hasn't actually been confirmed yet.
That was just a report but also from Europe.
The Europeans have also fined big tech companies billions of dollars too.
So, the things I think are important to keep in mind with the $5 million.
Fine should it come to pass?
Are it would be the biggest such fine in the US against a tech company, I believe.
So it's meaningful in that respect.
Be $5 billion is like a week of Facebook's like, earnings.
It's like nothing.
It's like a 5 billion
Exactly So that speaks to the scope of this problem.
These companies have gotten so massive that even the biggest fine ever levied against one in the United States still isn't a deterrent force.
Yeah, that's a really good point.
It doesn't change how it is that they make money in the first place.
They're gonna continue minting cash regardless.
But I do think the fact that That fine would be happening in the US whereas previously, those multi-billion dollar fines had been happening in Europe.
The US is where these companies are based, and so it, I think, would have more force, not necessarily in the dollar amount or euro amount if it were a fine here versus in Europe.
But in terms of the tenor, the fact that this is where these companies live, this is where most of their workers are It would signal that things aren't going to be able to stay the same.
Yeah, I would agree with you.
Or at least there's the possibility that there's going to be some sort of change.
That it would be potentially more significant, for sure.
For the Daily Charge, I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
I'm Joan E Solsman.
Thanks for listening.