Leading big-tech critic Tim Wu joins White House administration



© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk

Investing.com – Tim Wu, a long-time critic of so-called big-tech, has confirmed he is joining the Biden administration to work on Technology and Competition Policy at the National Economic Council, a move that signals that Biden is wants to crack down on the large technology companies.

The news will likely be viewed with some worry in Silicon Valley given Wu’s previous writing on the topic.

In 2018 Wu brought prominence to the idea that some of the big tech firms should be broken up in his book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. This has been a view shared by some prominent Democrats, most notably Elizabeth Warren, who spoke about breaking up big-tech on her campaign trail to become the Democratic nominee for president.

“Tim has been a long time antitrust advocate, and he has pushed public officials to break up and rein in Big Tech,” Warren said in a statement.

Antitrust

The big-tech companies – namely Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:), and Alphabet (NASDAQ:) – have all faced probes and investigations recently on various different antitrust topics on both sides of the Atlantic. Most recently, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority launched a probe into Apple over the way its treats its application developers.

Under former president Trump, the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought antitrust cases against Google (NASDAQ:) and Facebook, respectively.

The appointment of Wu would suggest Biden is going to crack down like his predecessor and is serious about tackling the influence that these large technology companies have over their customers and suppliers. If that is the case, the next move to look out for will be Biden’s pick to head the FTC and DoJ Antitrust Division. If they are cut from the same cloth as Wu, then we could see the start of a shake up in Silicon Valley.

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