August 18, 2022

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GeekWire Podcast: What lies ahead for major tech corporations underneath the Biden administration?

President Joe Biden in the Oval Business office this 7 days. (Via Twitter, @POTUS)

As Joe Biden settles into the Oval Office environment, tech corporations in the Seattle location and in other places are looking at with a perception of optimism to see what the new administration will imply for them and the field.

From the pandemic reaction to work to the weather, there’s no lack of important difficulties for the new administration to address. And that has some professionals believing that antitrust, information moderation and other regulatory crackdowns pursued by the prior administration may not be a precedence in the preliminary phase of the new one.

GeekWire contributing editor Monica Nickelsburg joins co-founders John Cook dinner and me to assess what’s forward on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast.

Pay attention under, subscribe in any podcast app, and maintain looking through for takeaways. 

A diverse environment: Governing administration affairs leaders at Seattle-place tech businesses see partisan division as the most important impediment on the path ahead, but also hope that more can get finished based mostly on the Biden administration’s message of unity. At the quite least, the contentious undertone would seem to be gone from their interactions with the White Household.

Huge troubles for tech

  • The tech industry’s essential agenda merchandise consist of local climate, broadband, the economic recovery, and the long term of careers in the submit-pandemic era.
  • AI and automation are reshaping the workforce, making the require for enormous employee retraining. The shift to virtual get the job done and in the long run to hybrid property/workplace work will bring about many companies and employees to rethink regular notions about urban facilities and geographic concentration.
  • China’s developing technology prowess and financial clout are also leading of intellect for several marketplace and government leaders.
  • The U.S. govt antitrust conditions from Google and Facebook are very likely to keep on, but the scope and aim of those worries could transform, according to some industry experts.
  • Just one difficulty that could break through is a national facts privacy legislation. One particular explanation is that numerous states have been enacting their own privateness regulations, as Monica describes. “At a selected place, it will become untenable to comply with all of those people, and that could insert a minimal bit of strain to the federal federal government and get them to possibly pick this up.”

Mutual goals? Tech leaders say the sector could turn into a lot more of a associate with the government. Amazon seemed to set the tone in a public letter to President Biden, providing to aid with vaccination initiatives. The company pushed back again against criticism that it didn’t the exact same give President Trump, with whom Amazon had a complicated romance. But Amazon explained it supplied guidance to the Trump administration, citing a letter to the CDC in December supplying assistance.

Many unanswered questions

  • How substantially ongoing antitrust scrutiny will Amazon face in the new administration and Democrat-managed Congress? It could go either way. A person idea we have talked over is that the Democrats’ concentration on concerns of economic fairness, relatively than information moderation, could change the attention to Amazon. But the crush of other urgent difficulties could hold off any critical glance at Amazon past the U.S. Dwelling antitrust report that was concerns last yr.
  • What will transpire to the disputed $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract that Microsoft was awarded by the Division of Defense in 2019? Amazon contends that Trump improperly affected the decision. Microsoft’s work is on keep pending the end result of Amazon’s attraction.
  • What the heck is going on with the SolarWinds hack, and why is no one speaking about it anymore? John was surprised not to listen to the concern referenced during Biden’s inaugural deal with. The fact that the largest and potentially most harmful cybersecurity breach in background has fallen off the radar states a whole lot about the mess the place is dealing with.

More looking through: President Biden’s tech to-do listing, by the New York Situations, 1 of the articles referenced by John through the podcast discussion.

Created by Curt Milton. Concept music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.