Biden Taking Big Stick to Big Tech

| Mike O'Brien

President Joseph Biden, in a sweeping executive order, is seeking to limit the power of big tech companies, including extra scrutiny of mergers and acquisition to check their monopolistic tendencies. It covers 72 different actions, including a reinstatement of net neutrality and asking the FTC to challenge prior “bad acquisitions.”

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Voice Commerce: Coming Soon to a Device Near You

| Deepak Gupta

Although voice tech isn’t new, using it for ecommerce is a relatively recent development. The hands-free approach is novel, but consumers remain skeptical. When voice tech was first introduced, there were obvious capacity limits. Now, there have been significant improvements to enable voice commerce thanks to machine learning and AI.

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Legislation Aimed at Breakup of Big Tech Firms

| Mike O'Brien

Bipartisan legislation being considered in Congress could force Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook to either shed private-label assets or effectively split in two in an attempt to regulate them, the WSJ said. Congress is also looking at limiting their ability to use their platforms to improperly direct consumers toward their own offerings.

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iOS 14.5 and Ads: What I’ve Learned So Far

| Dean DeCarlo

Apple’s launch of iOS 14.5, featuring its new privacy protections, has been championed by iPhone users tired of invasive ads, while advertisers frantically adapt to the changes, especially small businesses that rely on targeted ads. While challenging to advertisers, privacy is an important issue. Five weeks in, here are some key learnings.

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Will Global Privacy Control Protocol Succeed Where Do Not Track Failed?

| Mike O'Brien

Global Privacy Control focuses on letting consumers opt out of the sale of their personal data to third parties. The early-stage coalition includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mozilla. Rob Shavell, CEO of Abine, who was involved in Do Not Track and now GPC, discusses what’s ahead and why merchants should get on board.

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Feds, 11 States Accuse Google in Massive Antitrust Case

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Department of Justice, joined by attorneys general from 11 states, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google alleging it used its market power to thwart competition in search and advertising, setting up a battle on the level of the 1990s federal action against Microsoft.

Wayfair+2: The Impact of Marketplace Facilitator Laws Gone Wild

| Megan Higgins

Moving forward, one thing is certain: Marketplace facilitator laws will continue to evolve. We’re already seeing some changes in the U.S., with Louisiana going after high-volume 3P sellers during COVID-19. But states are also going to great lengths to pursue lodging and communications platforms and even food delivery services.

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Retail, Mall Groups Ask Trump, Congress for Coronavirus Relief

| Mike O'Brien

The National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers are asking the Trump administration and the federal government for relief for members who are being hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, much as are other industries such as airlines and hospitality, as mall, store and restaurant closures grow.

Amazon Pursuing Pay-With-Your-Hand Biometric Checkout Technology

| Douglas P. Clement

Amazon’s latest expansion into the consumer biosphere will enable brick-and-mortar shoppers to pay for purchases with a mere wave – or scan – of their hand. The Wall Street Journal said Amazon is creating a system of hand-scanning terminals for retailers, with a focus on venues like coffee shops with lots of return customers.