Startup News Digest 3/8/19

Our weekly take on some of the biggest stories in startup and tech policy. To receive this weekly digest in your inbox, sign up at

The Big StoryThe new push for net neutrality. Democrats came out this week with legislation to restore the 2015 net neutrality rules that kept Internet service providers from blocking or slowing access to content online and from charging companies for better access to users.

At an unveiling on Tuesday, Democrats in the House and the Senate introduced new legislation that would restore the 2015 rules—which were repealed by the FCC in 2017—and preserve the FCC’s ability to police ISPs’ efforts to discriminate against Internet traffic moving forward. As Evan said in a statement this week, “startups need net neutrality protections to keep the Internet a level playing field, where young companies don’t have to outbid large incumbents for better access to users.”

The new bill will be the focus of a hearing on net neutrality held by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology this coming week.


Policy Roundup

Another privacy hearing. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing next week on the impact privacy laws, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, have on competition and innovation.

Europe’s 60 minute rule. In a new blog post this week, Mozilla explains the harms of a new proposal out of the European Union that would require Internet platforms to take down terrorist content within 60 minutes of being notified.

Antitrust and big tech. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s panel on antitrust debated in a hearing this week whether antitrust enforcement is the best way to handle the challenges presented by some of the world’s largest tech companies.

France’s Internet tax. The French government introduced a bill that would charge a 3 percent tax on large Internet companies’ revenues, which is estimated to raise $566 million this year.

Cohn under pressure. House Judiciary Democrats are looking into claims made in a new report that President Donald Trump pressured his former economic adviser Gary Cohn to have the Department of Justice block the proposed merger $85 billion AT&T and Time Warner merger.

Huawei fights back. Huawei is suing the U.S. government over the ban on federal agencies buying Huawei products in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which was prompted by fears that the company can use its technology to spy on other countries.

“Men are scum.” Vanity Fair dives deep into Facebook’s inner workings to navigate what users are and aren’t allowed to say on the platform.