As regulators close in, tech giants play the blame game

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As regulators around the world grapple with reining in Big Tech, companies in the crosshairs are increasingly eager to point out the sins of their rivals.

why is it important: Investigations in the United States and around the world target Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. To make their case, regulators need to show that companies are stifling competition — a task that tech companies can help in their infighting.

Drive the news: A growing part of every company’s game plan seems to be to try to shift the spotlight and hope that regulators will put their limited time and resources against another target.

  • A senior Google executive recently called apple for his check on iMessage. “Apple’s iMessage lockdown is a documented strategy. Using peer pressure and intimidation as a means to sell products is dishonest for a company that puts humanity and fairness at the heart of its marketing,” Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer said in a statement. Tweeter.
  • Facebook has criticized Apple and Google for the commissions they take on apps and in-app purchases.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook regularly mocks Facebook for its monetization of private customer information.
  • Last year, Google and Microsoft ended a pact not to attack each other, leading to public criticism of Google by Microsoft, according to reports commissioned by Google attack microsoft, as well as a push by Google consultants to highlight Microsoft’s power to journalists and regulators.

Yes, but: Any accusations aimed at protecting the interests of individual companies might just do more harm to the whole industry in the court of public opinion.

  • What incriminates one company does not exonerate the others.

Between the lines: Industries facing a concerted threat from Washington often band together and send their trade groups into the fray to portray them as a united front.

  • With the tech giants, the reverse is happening: The Internet Association, which has long represented the interests of many of the biggest players in the industry, was disbanded last month.

The big picture: The government’s campaign to limit the power of Big Tech faces a big challenge by pursuing multiple targets at once, each with a different approach and grip on the market.

  • Additionally, companies compete at the periphery, allowing each to argue that they not only face competition from start-ups, but also from their peers.

during this time, tech giants are collectively frustrated with legislative proposals that target them but exclude both foreign tech companies and other giants, such as Walmart.

  • TikTok is often held up both as proof that tech competition is alive and well — and as another company regulators should be watching.

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