Hillicon Valley — Feds seeks to dam Microsoft’s huge merger

Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of gaming firm Activision Blizzard hit one other roadblock Thursday, with the Democrats on the Federal Commerce Fee suing to dam the deal.  

In the meantime, the Division of Justice filed a short to the Supreme Court docket warning in opposition to the justices utilizing an “overly broad” interpretation of Part 230 in a case involving Google.  

That is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you should find out about tech and cyber information from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Ship tricks to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare. Somebody ahead you this text? Join right here or within the field beneath.

FTC sues Microsoft to forestall acquisition 

The Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) voted Thursday to sue to dam Microsoft’s
$69 billion acquisition of gaming firm Activision Blizzard, including to the aggressive antitrust motion taken underneath Democratic Chairwoman Lina Khan.  

The FTC argued that if Microsoft closes the deal, it might have the facility to hurt competitors by with the ability to change phrases to withhold entry to Activision’s content material, resembling the favored “Name of Obligation” recreation, in addition to to govern pricing and degrade recreation high quality. 

  • The company alleged Microsoft suppressed competitors from rival consoles by buying firms up to now, together with by deciding to make video games like “Starfield” and “Redfall” unique to Microsoft units after buying recreation developer ZeniMax. 
  • “Microsoft has already proven that it might probably and can withhold content material from its gaming rivals,” the director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competitors stated in a press release. “At the moment we search to cease Microsoft from gaining management over a number one impartial recreation studio and utilizing it to hurt competitors in a number of dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.” 

Learn extra right here. 

DOJ points 230 warning in Google case

The Division of Justice (DOJ) is warning the Supreme Court docket in opposition to utilizing an “overly broad” interpretation of a provision that gives tech firms a authorized legal responsibility defend over content material posted by third events. 

The DOJ issued the warning in a short a few case regarding Google that might change how digital content material is hosted on-line, with the division successfully undermining the tech large’s argument within the case. 

The dispute facilities on whether or not the legal responsibility defend — Part 230 of the Frequent Decency Act — protects Google in a case alleging the corporate advisable ISIS recruitment movies to customers on its YouTube subsidiary. 

A decrease appeals court docket stated the legal responsibility defend protects Google, a ruling the DOJ is urging the Supreme Court docket to vacate. 

Learn extra right here. 


A slew of adjustments carried out by Elon Musk after his buy of Twitter is shifting views of the platform alongside partisan strains. 

Below its earlier possession, Twitter confronted frequent criticism from the GOP over its content material moderation insurance policies, which Republicans have lengthy asserted had been biased in opposition to them and led to the accounts of a number of distinguished members of the celebration — together with former President Trump — being faraway from the platform. 

In latest weeks, Musk has rolled again these insurance policies and restored quite a lot of beforehand banned customers as he pursues his imaginative and prescient of a “free speech” platform, strikes which have earned him cheers from conservatives and public scorn from many liberals.  

In what consultants and observers of the tech and media industries say is the most recent try by Musk to woo right-wing customers again to Twitter amid a largely chaotic revamp of the corporate, the eccentric billionaire final week shared with an impartial journalist a collection of paperwork about Twitter’s earlier content material moderation procedures, seemingly in a bid to point out bias on the highest degree of the corporate’s management in opposition to the political proper earlier than his arrival.

Learn extra right here. 


Two Home Democrats have referred to as on Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Thursday to take motion in opposition to the rise of hate speech on Twitter. 

In a letter despatched to Musk, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Mark Takano (D-Calif.) wrote that there was an “excessive spike” within the variety of tweets with slurs, and engagement with these tweets, because the billionaire took over the social media app.

The letter cited information from the Heart for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) exhibiting that the variety of tweets containing slurs has grown exponentially when in comparison with the 2022 common.  

  • “Slurs in opposition to Black individuals have tripled in each day mentions. Slurs in opposition to girls have elevated 33 p.c from the 2022 common mentions, and slurs in opposition to homosexual males have elevated by 58 p.c,” the letter stated. 
  • “Earlier than you assumed the position of CEO, engagement with these tweets averaged 13.3 replies, retweets, or likes. Now, engagement with slurs has elevated
    273 p.c, with the typical variety of replies, retweets, or likes averaging 49.5 on tweets containing hate speech.” 

Learn extra right here. 


An op-ed to chew on: An open, unfiltered web may very well be the important thing to toppling autocrats 

Notable hyperlinks from across the net: 

How Estonia helps Ukraine tackle Russian cyber threats (Politico/Maggie Miller) 

Apple makes it simpler to maintain your information secret from hackers, cops, and even Apple (Vox / Sara Morrison)  

Tech firms fueled the rise of Homeland Safety and home surveillance, report finds (The Verge / Mitchell Clark) 

Yet one more factor: DC sues Amazon over ideas

Washington, D.C.’s lawyer normal is suing Amazon, alleging the corporate stole ideas from supply drivers and deceived shoppers about who their cash would profit.  

“This go well with is about offering employees the ideas they’re owed and telling shoppers the reality. Amazon, one of many world’s wealthiest firms, actually doesn’t must take ideas that belong to employees,” D.C. Lawyer Basic Karl Racine (D) stated in a launch Thursday. 

  • The lawsuit accuses the transport large of mendacity to shoppers concerning the tipping course of for Amazon Flex supply drivers in what the lawyer normal’s workplace referred to as a “misleading, unlawful scheme” to spice up the corporate’s income.   
  • Customers had been allegedly prompted to tip their Amazon Flex supply particular person underneath the promise that the total tip would profit the driving force, however the tipping cash was as a substitute used to repay what the corporate had already promised to the worker — not tacked on as a tipped bonus. 

Learn extra right here. 

That’s it for at the moment, thanks for studying. Try The Hill’s Expertise and Cybersecurity pages for the most recent information and protection. We’ll see you tomorrow.