Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week. The Federal Trade Commission has expressed “deep concern” over Twitter’s implosion since Elon Musk took over the company last...
Hey everybody, I’m Joe Miller and here’s what’s going on in the world of tech law & policy this week.
The Federal Trade Commission has expressed “deep concern” over Twitter’s implosion since Elon Musk took over the company last month. More key executives departed the company this week, leaving it with little to no institutional knowledge on staff that knows how Twitter’s underlying technology works. Among the resignations was Yoel Roth, Twitter’s Head of Moderation & Safety, who many have seen as something of a voice of reason for the company since Musk took over. Mr. Roth had appeared the day before his resignation at a Twitter Spaces event during which he and Mr. Musk attempted to allay advertisers’ fears that their brands would appear next to harmful content like hate speech. Lea Kissner, Twitter’s Chief Information Security Officer, has also left the company, as well as its Chief Compliance and Chief Privacy Officers.
But Twitter is subject to two consent decrees of over $150 million imposed by the FTC in 2011 and 2022 for repeated privacy violations. By some estimates, the FTC could fine Twitter to the tune of billions of dollars if it fails to comply with the consent decrees.
Crypto exchange FTX also imploded last week following massive sell-offs by its customers after its 30-year-old CEO Sam Bankman-Fried announced the company used some $10 billion customers’ holdings to fund Almeda, FTX’s sister company also founded by Mr. Bankman-Fried. FTX competitor Binance initially tried to step in and takeover FTX but then concluded after reviewing FTX’s financials that it wouldn’t be able to rescue FTX, which may now declare bankruptcy. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission are investigating as FTX is unable to honor customer withdrawals, which aren’t secured by the federal government. Crypto has billed itself as an alternative to regulated currency.
The European Commission announced its preliminary review of Microsoft’s $69 billion bid to acquire Activision/Blizzard – the competing video game owner of the Call of Duty video game franchise. The US Federal Trade Commission has also expressed significant concerns after a staff-level review. Regulators are especially concerned about what the acquisition would mean for Playstation’s ability to carry Call of Duty.
To go deeper, you can find links to all of these stories in the show notes. Stay safe, stay informed, have a great week. Ciao.