U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ambitious plan to regulate Facebook, Google and Amazon as utilities and roll back some of their biggest acquisitions, is a giant stake in the ground for the 2020 presidential campaign -- but is it realistic? Would it really have the desired impact on competition and consumers?
Amazon’s recent investments in NYC educational initiatives will continue, despite the company pulling its HQ2 plans for the area. But the company isn’t stopping there. Today, Amazon announced it will bring computer science courses to more than 1,000 high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Lina Khan, who wrote a semi-viral Yale Law Journal article about Amazon, is in talks to join the staff of the congressional panel overseeing antitrust issues, according to people familiar with the plans. Rep. David Cicilline chairs the panel. She comes from a school of antitrust thinkers who have called for breaking up Facebook.
“State and local officials continue to hand out goodies even though evidence suggests that such subsidies have little effect on jobs,” Liu declared. “Sure, we all want good corporate citizens, but companies will always put self-interest and shareholders before the needs of communities, no matter how much they receive in incentives.”
Amazon is canceling its plans to build a 25,000 person office in New York City in an extraordinary twist to the “HQ2” story that has dominated the news for more than a year. The company announced the deal was off Thursday, blaming “a number of state and local politicians” who vowed to fight the deal.
The Internet of Things central promise is that by allowing internet and compute-enable products into your home, you can enjoy luxuries and conveniences like voice assistants, different colored light bulbs that change on command, and a really smart toaster. There are always going to be tensions between certain IoT devices and privacy.
It took about 30 minutes for Williamson County commissioners to unanimously approve a roughly $16 million incentive package for Apple Tuesday morning, bringing the total amount the tech giant is likely to receive in exchange for choosing Austin as the site for its newest campus to a cool $41 million. The new addition is set to be Apple’s second campus in the Austin, Texas, area--located less than a mile from the company’s existing facility, established five years ago.
Is Amazon a sleeping giant of edtech? Or one of its biggest, underreported failures? Those are questions to which my answers have varied, especially this year. But now I can definitively answer yes. To both. As someone who lives in Seattle and has both worked in education technology as an executive and analyst, and observed the tech sector as a columnist, Amazon is inescapable.
Lawmakers and officials whose towns won out in the search are welcoming the company with open arms, predicting that its arrival will bring massive economic investments into their communities. But others are raising questions about the wisdom of gifting billions in taxpayer dollars to the second most highly valued company in the world when local infrastructures are struggling.
Amazon’s search for an HQ2 -- which it turned out will be a couple of expanded branch offices in New York City and the Washington area, according to multiple reports -- was tacky but successful, at least in the short term. Holding a public municipal competition for Amazon’s affection was a master stroke that generated maximum exposure for the company, delivered it valuable information about cities and states and pitted local governments against one another to extract gains for Amazon.