Navigating Antitrust in the Age of Big Tech: A Comprehensive Guide to Key Talking Points

Your cut out & keep guide to Big Tech talking points in a new age of antitrust With regulatory risk soaring, platforms are in lobbying overdrive. We cut to the chase with a no-nonsense glossary of Big Tech’s top whines…As the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok face unprecedented (yes, actually!) But there’s an even greater nightmare for Big Tech: The break-up of established empires may be on the cards. This may explain why some of the defensive claims put out in response to dialled-up regulatory attention are so familiar. “why am I seeing this ad?”because we tracked you“why are we doing this?”to keep tracking you for 🤑“publicly available information”stuff we stole

Tech giants are facing intense scrutiny and regulatory pressure as calls for reining in their power continue to grow. As a result, a lobbying frenzy has erupted with companies making aggressive and self-serving arguments. However, don’t be fooled by the war of words – we’ve cut through the noise to provide you with a straightforward guide to deciphering Big Tech’s top talking points.

Among the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and TikTok, lobbyists are working tirelessly to spin narratives that present their actions as purely beneficial. In reality, their goal is to minimize the commercial damage that could come with new regulations, such as the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

Their tactics involve bending the rules to fit their existing operations and business models, while simultaneously avoiding potential break-ups of their empires.

That said, the regulatory risk is no longer just a potential threat – it is now a very real one for these tech giants.

In their efforts to paint their dominance as harmless and normal, these companies employ a range of public relations tactics. However, we have translated some of their most frequently used talking points into plain English for your convenience.

“Our platform is essential for small businesses to reach consumers.”

  • Gatekeeping is our line of business.
  • Our interests align with rent collection from thousands of small and medium-sized businesses.

“We have built a safe and trusted place for users.”

  • But the rent is due.
  • Our main concern is protecting our rents.

“We create a magical experience for our users.”

  • Don’t touch our rents!

“We believe in the free market.”

  • Until we are forced to stop, we will do whatever we want.

“We compete with a wide variety of services.”

  • But our primary goal is to crush as much competition as possible.

“We face intense competition.”

  • Sometimes it takes us longer than we’d like to crush the competition.

“We believe competition is good for our economy.”

  • In reality, we ARE the economy!

“We’re taking a compliance-first approach.”

  • We’re always looking out for number one.

“We take your privacy seriously.”

  • While we may claim to value your privacy, we are still using your information for our own purposes.

“We take the security of your information seriously.”

  • But we still want exclusive access to your information.

“We are committed to keeping people’s information private and secure.”

  • Our real goal is to have exclusive access to everyone’s information – and if you use the web, we’re tracking you.

In addition to these well-known talking points, we’ve also noticed some newer excuses emerging, such as:

“Privacy fundamentalists” – anyone who actually cares about privacy, typically found in Europe.

Other tricks include claiming to offer “unprecedented choice” while actually giving you no choice or a “clear choice” that actually offers no choice at all. They may also talk about easily switching your default or managing your consent choices, but in reality, it’s nearly impossible to stop them from tracking you.

If all else fails, they will resort to complaining about a “lack of clear regulatory guidance” or the need for “more clarity about how to comply.” Don’t be fooled – these are just excuses to continue breaking the law until they are forced to stop.

To wrap it up, here are a few more commonly used phrases and their translations:

  • “It addresses the latest regulatory developments, guidance, and judgments” – We’re breaking the law in a new way, and regulators haven’t caught up yet.
  • “New ways to manage your data” – We got caught breaking the law, so we’re trying to cover it up with new tactics.
  • “Subscription for no ads” – We found a new way to ignore the law and continue tracking you.
  • “Opt-out process” – We track you by default.
  • “Help center” – Unhelpful by default.
  • “The new rules involve difficult trade-offs” – Our compliance will degrade the service in a way that’s intended to annoy you because we want you to complain about the law.
  • “We believe in a free, ad-supported internet” – We intend to continue tracking, profiling, and selling your attention to anyone willing to pay.
  • “Personalized advertising” – Surveillance advertising, aka tracking.
  • “Relevant ads” – Tracking.
  • “Personalized products” – Tracking.
  • “Relevant content” – Tracking.
  • “Personalization” – Tracking.
  • “Personal data that is collected about your interaction can be shared across linked services” – Tracking.
  • “An inclusive internet where everyone can access online content and services for free” – Our business model relies on privacy as a luxury that most people can’t afford, because you are the product.
  • “Free services” – In this context, just another way of saying we’re tracking you.
  • “A way for people to consent to data processing for personalized advertising” – A deceitfully simple mechanism for tracking.
  • “The validity of our approach has been validated by numerous authorities” – We’re breaking the law in a new way and waiting for regulators to catch up.
  • “Information sharing” – Yep, that’s us, normalizing how we’re taking your private information and doing whatever we want with it again!
  • “We do not sell your information” – But we do sell your attention.
  • “Manage how your data is used to inform ads” – There’s no way to stop us from abusing your privacy.
  • “Ad preferences” – There’s no way to stop us from abusing your privacy.
  • “Privacy center” – Seriously, there’s no way to stop us from abusing your privacy, and we’re just trolling you now!
  • “Why am I seeing this ad?” – Because we tracked you.
  • “Why are we doing this?” – To continue tracking you for profit.
  • “Publicly available information” – Stuff we stole.
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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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