Bidding For Biden: Biden Campaign leads fundraiser hosted by Big Tech’s biggest critics

November 6, 2020

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2 min read

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What's going on here?

US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign has held a virtual fundraiser to discuss the advancement of the American tech sector, offering an insight into how he will regulate Big Tech if he wins the upcoming US election.

What does this mean?

Some of Big Tech’s biggest critics have worked together to organise a fundraiser for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The fundraiser consisted of a conversation about the advancement of the American tech sector, which currently includes internet giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

The principal speakers have all previously spoken out against the growth of Big Tech companies. They are all advocates for heavier regulation and, potentially, the breakup of these companies. Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the speakers, has continually criticised Big Tech companies on the grounds that they stifle competition. Additionally, speakers David Cicilline and Tish James have both recently led investigations into Big Tech companies.

Biden himself will not be present at the event. It cannot, therefore, be explicitly stated that the speakers’ views align with his own. Nevertheless, many believe that it is telling of what a Democratic White House has in store for Big Tech.

What's the big picture effect?

As the results of the US election draw ever closer, there is increasing concern about what sort of impact the election’s outcome will have on Big Tech. Recent poll figures show that Biden is currently ahead of Trump, whose average approval rating of 40% is well below that of his recent predecessors. As a result, there has been a surge of interest regarding Democratic policies, especially regarding Biden’s attitude towards Big Tech.

In the past, Biden has made some comments about the excessive power wielded by these companies. The recent Democrat-led congressional report (which you can read about here) also accused these tech companies of antitrust misconduct. There is, therefore, some support for the idea that Biden will be influenced by Warren, Cicilline and James’ views on restricting Big Tech’s powers. This would mean that, should Biden win the election, his administration would increase the regulatory burden on Facebook, Google and their counterparts.

These speakers are not the only ones trying to win Biden over by raising funds for his campaign. The internet industry has reportedly contributed $12m to Biden’s campaign. According to a report by WIRED, employees at six leading tech companies (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Oracle) have together contributed over $4.75m to Biden, whilst contributing just under $240,000 to Trump.

Whether or not this fundraiser will achieve its aim of convincing Biden to take a stand against Big Tech is yet to be seen. Alternatively, Big Tech’s attempts to support Biden financially may also sway his views. Either way, there are likely to be big implications for the tech giants if Biden wins the upcoming US election.

Report written by Catrin Trefor

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