Bipartisan Bill To Break Up Online Advertising Market (Free Version)

Bipartisan Bill To Break Up Online Advertising Market (Free Version)
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

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Ted Cruz and Richard Blumenthal are cosponsoring an online advertising competition bill!?!?!?


Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the “Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act” (S.4258), a bill that “would restore and protect competition in digital advertising by eliminating conflicts of interest that have allowed the leading platforms in the market to manipulate ad auctions and impose monopoly rents on a broad swath of the American economy” according to their press release. Klobuchar and Lee are the chair and ranking member of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over antitrust and competition issues, meaning this bill has better odds of moving than others introduced to rein in “Big Tech.” In this case, the bill purports to curb Google and Meta’s dominance in online advertising markets, including forcing them to spin off subsidiaries to avoid a situation in which one company owns multiple sides of the online advertising market structure.


The “Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act” (S.4258) would add a new section to the “Clayton Act,” one of the United States’ (U.S.) two primary laws governing antitrust and competition enforcement. This new section would combat what many critics have called Google’s anticompetitive practices in the online advertising market, which functions much like a stock market with brokerages for those selling advertising space on websites and apps and those looking to buy space for their products. There are online ad exchanges that operate in ways virtually the same as stock markets, including with automated, very fast trading.

In terms of the problem the bill is trying to solve, there is ample evidence that online advertising markets are controlled by a few companies to the detriment of most of the other stakeholders. One firm found that Google, Meta, and Amazon collectively accounted for 74% of online advertising revenue in 2021, with Google taking home 44% of all revenue.

And, here are developments and articles from last month. Being subscribed would mean getting these in a more timely fashion.

Other Developments

Photo by Taneli Lahtinen on Unsplash

The United States (U.S.) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre (NZ NCSC), and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-UK) issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory “on the common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) frequently exploited by malicious cyber actors, including the 15 most commonly exploited of 2021.”

United States Vice President Kamala Harris and Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) tested positive for COVID, which has delayed Democratic plans to hold a vote on Alvaro Bedoya’s nomination to serve on the Federal Trade Commission.

The European Commission proposed a directive “to improve protection of journalists and human rights defenders from abusive court proceedings” known as “[s]trategic lawsuits against public participation, commonly known as ‘SLAPPs.'”

United States (U.S.) Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel responded to Senator Richard Blumenthal’s (D-CT) letter on robocalls and also responded to Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) letter “regarding the FCC’s efforts to implement the Broadband Deployment Locations Map.”

India and the United Kingdom “outline[d] our commitment to a joint programme of cooperation to deliver this partnership, focused on cyber governance, deterrence, resilience and capacity building” under the May 2021 Enhanced Cyber Security Partnership.

The United States (U.S.) Federal Trade Commission “took action against Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider VoIP Terminator, Inc., a related company, and the firms’ owner for assisting and facilitating the transmission of millions of illegal prerecorded telemarketing robocalls, including those they knew or should have known were scams, to consumers nationwide.”

United States (U.S.) Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask him “Will Apple allow access to the Voice of America mobile app through its App Store in China, consistent with the fundamental human rights that you articulated in your speech” at the 2022 IAPP Global Privacy Summit.

United States (U.S.) Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) introduced “the bipartisan “Quantum Computing Cybersecurity Preparedness Act” (H.R.7535) to ensure that encryption used by the federal government to keep our systems and valuable data safe are quantum proof and establish Congress’ oversight role in the process.”

The United States (U.S.) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) “has released the initial public draft of NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-82r3, Guide to Operational Technology (OT) Security, which provides guidance on how to improve the security of OT systems while addressing their unique performance, reliability, and safety requirements.”

Microsoft “released a report detailing the relentless and destructive Russian cyberattacks we’ve observed in a hybrid war against Ukraine, and what we’ve done to help protect Ukrainian people and organizations.”

Further Reading

Photo by Andreas Eldh on Flickr

Twitter Under Elon Musk Will Need to Confront China’s Leverage” By Liza Lin and Karen Hao — Wall Street Journal

China dismisses speculation it may try to influence Twitter via Tesla” — Reuters

As Musk plans how to change Twitter, EU reminds him: 'We have rules'” By John Chalmers — Reuters

Elon Musk, Twitter’s next owner, provides his definition of “free speech” By Jon Brodkin — Ars Technica

Report: Fake Twitter accounts spread Chinese propaganda” — Associated Press

Facebook Parent Meta Expected to Post Slowest Revenue Growth Since IPO” By Salvador Rodriguez — Wall Street Journal

In the dark: Seven years, 60 countries, 935 internet shutdowns: How authoritarian regimes found an off switch for dissent.” By Peter Guest — Rest of the World

Spain's ombudsman to probe alleged cyber spying of Catalan figures” — Reuters

NSA Re-awards Secret $10 Billion Contract to Amazon” By Frank Konkel — Nextgov

Ottawa faces blowback for plan to regulate internet” By Bill Curry — The Globe and Mail

A Woman's Guide to the Most Toxic Trolls on the Internet” By Nina Jankowicz — WIRED

Twitter admits temporarily suspending Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders” — Euronews

State TV says Iran foiled cyberattacks on public services” — Associated Press

Russia wages “relentless and destructive” cyberattacks to bolster Ukraine invasion” By Dan Goodin — Ars Technica

Mexico's top court strikes down controversial cellphone registry with biometric data” By Cassandra Garrison and Valentine Hilaire — Reuters

Alphabet Earnings Show Slowing Sales Growth on Digital-Ad Tumult” By Meghan Bobrowsky — Wall Street Journal

Under pressure, Apple commits to conducting a civil rights audit” By Cristiano Lima — Washington Post

U.S. appeals court will not reconsider California net neutrality ruling” By David Shepardson — Reuters