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Imageedit 3 7711727557 Is the Facebook saga coming to Disney+? All news media eyes are on Washington, as the Federal Trade Commission (see the Bureau of Competition), and 48 states and districts filed an antitrust suit against the social media and technology giant that could force it to divest Instagram and WhatsApp. This could have implications for future antitrust law. This is aside from the ongoing Section 230 debate.

Other highlights in our linkfest include a somber journalism prediction from NeimanLab, as well as some of our Movers & Shakers, an Axios eye on cross-border political influence, the continuing shakeup at Voice of America by Michael Pack, a high-powered gathering for policy ideas from the DealBook D.C. Policy Project and some interesting additions to the President-elect’s transition team.

  • The AP’s SEC Correspondent Marcy Gordon and Law Enforcement Reporter Michael Sisak cite experts that think the government has a strong case against, and note President-elect Joe Biden has said the breakup of Big Tech giants should be seriously considered.
  • Meanwhile, Politico’s Steven Overly found some new volunteers on the Biden-Harris Transition team website that weren’t there on Nov. 10:
    • Zaid Zaid, a Facebook public policy official, joined the state department and international development teams.
    • Christopher Upperman, a Facebook manager, was added to the Small Business Administration team.
    • Rachel Lieber, a Facebook director and associate general counsel, sits on the Intelligence Community team.
    • Deon Scott, a Google program manager and alum Of Obama’s Homeland Security Department, will serve on the DHS team.
  • The NY Post’s Josh Kosman reports Facebook is bringing in white-shoe lawyers while the FTC has faced cutbacks. Though, Kosman writes that in the case of the FTC, insiders say its staffer Daniel Matheson — who graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 2004 — earned a scrappy reputation as he prosecuted an antitrust case against giant chipmaker Qualcomm.
  • And if that’s not enough, TechCrunch reports Facebook’s being investigated in Germany for linking usage of its VR product, Oculus, to having a Facebook account.
  • Perspective: NeimanLab, in its predictions for journalism in 2021, says Neither dual antitrust lawsuits against Facebook nor the DOJ’s monopoly case against Google will funnel money to news operations in 2021.
  • Of course, the Facebook-journalism relationship is far from over. See: Reuters launches two new journalism diversity initiatives, in partnership with the National Association of Black Journalists, Facebook and CUNY’s Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

Logging off Facebook news, our linkfest continues with the DealBook D.C. Policy Project and a shoutout to Axios and its first investigative piece:

As the content here is refined for our audience of policymakers and private sector decision-makers — you’ll notice the lean to DC’esque coverage — we will still highlight news media trends. If you have insight, from white papers to commentary or just plain better sources (Pew Research Center dives into America’s understanding of news sources), please feel free to write.


— Megan Kashtan and Wayne McKenzie contributed to this report.

Baz Hiralal

Managing Editor, Thought Leadership