The regulatory outlook in Washington appears to be improving for Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon due to COVID-19, according to a new report from Needham this morning.
- Anti-trust debate – the benefits of large companies is being clearly demonstrated during this crisis – FB’s apps enabling the sharp increase in communication, AMZN’s logistics delivering critical goods to consumers, innovative health apps and 1m masks/week from AAPL. The rise of TikTok and Zoom also illustrate large companies are not stifling competition. In fact, they have allowed Americans (voters) to live better lives during this pandemic.
- Privacy debate – data collection has driven rapid innovation during COVID (e.g. thermometer apps tracking virus spread across the US by location). Countries that appear to have greatest success at containing COVID-19 also have the most aggressive data gathering tools (e.g. China, Singapore).
- fake news debate – FB and GOOGL have been proactively taking down false info during COVID-19, which appears to be helping their case to policy makers.
Finally, rather than furloughing employees, these big tech companies are hiring and helping to mitigate the economic stress during this crisis.
Policy makers trying to push US toward EU-style regulation are likely to face a harder time post COVID-19.