Partisan Divisions Hinder House Big Tech Report

WASHINGTON—Partisan divisions are emerging in the final stage of a congressional inquiry into U.S. technology giants, showing the uphill road ahead for legislation to rein in Big Tech despite widespread concern about the companies’ power.

The disagreements between Democrats and Republicans on the House Antitrust Subcommittee are focused on policy recommendations growing out of the panel’s 16-month-long probe into the market power of

Apple Inc., Inc.,

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google, and

Facebook Inc.,

according to congressional aides.

The House panel is preparing a report detailing its conclusions. It had been expected to publish Monday, but hasn’t yet been released.

Republicans are privately balking at some ideas in the draft report, which was penned primarily by Democratic staff. GOP lawmakers don’t support a Democratic proposal to separate large online platforms from other lines of business, the aides said. Some Republicans are also disappointed the report doesn’t discuss the companies’ power to

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Impact of COVID-19 increases urgency of digital technology investments for oil and gas; skill gaps within the workforce hinder ROI

HOUSTON, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ninety percent of oil and gas executives agree that investment in technology and workforce are essential to surviving current market conditions, according to a new EY survey: Oil and Gas Digital Transformation and the Workforce Survey 2020. In fact, 58% said the COVID-19 pandemic has made investing in digital technology more urgent, with a majority planning to invest a great deal (29%) or moderate amount (51%) relative to their total budget.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the timeline for some digital technology adoption from five years to three months,” said Andy Brogan, EY Global Oil & Gas Leader. “The cost savings digital can deliver is critical for survival in today’s low-price environment, as oil and gas companies look to gain greater operational efficiencies and drive productivity across the value chain. However, to capture the full value of these investments, oil and gas

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Foreign investment framework tweaks could hinder Australia’s quantum future

Australia is updating its foreign investment review framework with the overarching goal of addressing national security risks, strengthening compliance, and streamlining investment in non-sensitive businesses.

While the Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia’s National Security) Bill 2020 aims to protect Australia, the country’s quantum technology sector is worried about the problems the Bill could create for the nascent industry.

“At its present stage of development, I would expect the Australian quantum technology industry to primarily develop through some combination of startup businesses forming to exploit the fruits of our research and by foreign companies partnering with locals to bring our research outputs into their organisation,” Dr Michael Harvey said in a submission [PDF] to Treasury.

“Both these scenarios will potentially be affected by the proposed changes to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Framework.”

Early-stage investing in novel technologies, particularly in deep tech segments such as quantum, are inherently a high-risk endeavour, Harvey

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