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Biden administration's approach to tech, competition will be in focus at CES

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Biden administration's approach to tech, competition will be in focus at CES

CES, the Consumer Technology Association's annual technology and media trade show, is set to take place virtually Jan. 11-14. The show is expected to feature conversations from across media and tech on a broad variety of topics, including regulatory issues, consumer electronics, and gaming.

One issue that will be in focus is how President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration will approach technology, innovation and competition issues. On Jan. 12, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, will moderate a discussion on the topic.

With scrutiny toward large online platforms building in both parties in recent years, some believe the Biden administration will continue regulatory action against the platforms and possibly expand it.

Federal and state antitrust enforcers recently filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC, but are reported to have open investigations into Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. as well.

"I would expect the emphasis on tech to continue. I hope it broadens, because we shouldn't just be looking at four companies — we should probably be looking at a whole bunch more," Avery Gardiner, a former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer who worked in the Antitrust Division, said in an interview in December 2020 on how the Biden administration will approach antitrust.

Another regulatory panel on Jan. 14, which will be titled, "Privacy and Trust with Amazon, Google and Twitter [Inc.]," will feature officials from each company.

Keith Enright, chief privacy officer at Google; Damien Kieran, chief privacy officer at Twitter; and Anne Toth, director of Alexa Trust at Amazon, will all participate in the discussion.

The panel is expected to explore potential changes to policies, products and regulation and to consider what may occur for these issues in privacy in 2021.

Christine Bannan — policy counsel at New America's Open Technology Institute, who focuses on privacy and platform accountability — said in an interview in December 2020 that she sees new leadership at the Federal Trade Commission as an opportunity for the agency to "reevaluate its strategy for privacy enforcement and come up with solutions that will change company behavior going forward."

Government

Jan. 13 The Federal Communications Commission will hold its monthly open meeting. It will be the last open meeting led by Chairman Ajit Pai before he departs the agency.
Jan. 15 An FCC advisory committee will co-host a virtual summit titled "A Road Map to Tech Jobs."
Industry, legal and think tank events
Jan. 11-14 CES, a globally influential technology trade show hosted by the Consumer Technology Association, will be held virtually.
Jan. 12 The Federal Communications Bar Association will host an event titled "Engineering and Technical and Internet of Things Committees Lunch and Learn."
Jan. 14 The American Enterprise Institute will host a virtual event titled "Spectrum sharing and maximizing future tech: A conversation with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr."
Jan. 15 The Federal Communications Bar Association will host an event titled "Wireline Committee Lunch and Learn."


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