Big Tech Sold Out on Its Promise of an Open Internet
An anonymous reader shares a report: 2021 was a bad PR year for Big Tech. Lawmakers, advocates, and scholars filled pages of books and held hours of hearing exalting what they viewed as an industry being strangled by a handful of players using anti-competitive practices to solidify their position as kings. Ironically, those exact same tactics were vehemently opposed by the Big Tech companies themselves less than a decade ago. Like an aging punk throwing out their raggedy jean jacket for a blazer, Big Tech sold out. That’s according to a new report by the Tech Oversight Project shared exclusively with Gizmodo. The report — titled Whiplash: Inside Big Tech’s Open Internet Flip-Flop — lays out a laundry list of times where Big Tech companies have seemingly expressed support for many of the same policy goals they’re currently fighting to quash. It also comes as Congress muses over several key pieces of antitrust legislation taking aim at Big Tech’s alleged monopolistic business practices.

The report spotlights Google, Amazon, and Facebook’s fierce defense of net neutrality in 2014 where the companies repeatedly cited an “open internet” as a critical component to innovation and economic growth. Tech’s biggest players, as a New York Times article from the time states, “put their reputations and financial clout behind the challenge.” These high-minded priorities for an open internet were shouted from the rooftops by Big Tech’s most prominent voices at the time. “The internet has created this remarkable set of free markets, open competition, and competitive growth, and we need to keep it free and open,” Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a 2007 address to the Progress and Freedom Foundation Aspen Summit.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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