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Big Tech Compliance Tracker: EU Pauses Digital Tax Effort; Facebook Seeks FTC Chair Khan’s Recusal In Antitrust Case

Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny.

EU Pauses Digital Tax Effort

As U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen aims to get European countries to support a broader international business tax deal, the European Union is postponing intentions for a common digital tax in the region, CNBC reported. The news comes as the White House has been heading up international talks that would make multinationals pay tax in every location where they run, with a 15 percent levy at the least. As CNBC reported, the U.S. “has been cool” on the concept of a digital tax in the region, as it is concerned that it will unfairly single out U.S. companies.

Facebook Calls For FTC Chair Khan To Recuse Herself In Antitrust Matter

Facebook is requesting that Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan recuse herself in an antitrust matter. The social media firm is contending that Khan can’t remain impartial because of her history of criticizing large tech companies, per The Wall Street Journal.

“For the entirety of her professional career, Chair Khan has consistently and very publicly concluded that Facebook is guilty of violating the antitrust laws,” the firm said in a petition filed with the body, as per WSJ.“When a new commissioner has already drawn factual and legal conclusions and deemed the target a lawbreaker, due process requires that individual to recuse herself.”

Facebook’s ask comes two weeks after Amazon filed a similar recusal petition.

German Competition Watchdog Wants EU To Broaden Tech Regs

Andreas Mundt, the leader of the German competition regulator, has called out European Union (EU) draft tech rules. “I think the DMA [Digital Markets Act] is somewhat narrow because it mirrors [behavior] from the past and there might be new conduct that might be difficult to catch,” Mundt told the Financial Times. Mundt contends that the bloc should model its novel regulations on the German blueprint that harnesses a less strict definition of antitrust that provides more room to include new anti-competitive behaviors.

Chinese Tech Companies Ink Antitrust Vow

More than 30 Chinese tech firms, including Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, together inked an understanding on antitrust matters, the South China Morning Post reported.

Those tech firms met at an event in Beijing and inked the agreement on “fair competition, consumer protection and strengthening innovation” in the words of SCMP.

The news comes as the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the antitrust body in China, has been stepping up is scrutiny of late tech companies as of late last year.

The Internet Platform Operators Anti-Monopoly Self-discipline Convention prohibits tech companies from participating in various monopolies.

US Senator Seeks ‘Dramatic Action’ In Big Tech Antitrust Fight

Multiple key senators are at work on tech-focused antitrust regulations. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is working with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on an antirust bill that is said to be similar to some of the legislation the House Judiciary Committee green lighted back in June, but he didn’t single any out. “There is so much wrong with these social media platforms,” Grassley said, per Bloomberg. “We have to take some dramatic action.”

Facebook To Invest More Than $1B In Creator Incentives

Facebook plans to invest over $1 billion by next year’s conclusion in “programs that give creators new ways to earn money for the content they create on Facebook and Instagram,” according to a blog post.

“As we continue building creative tools like Live Audio Rooms and Bulletin, as well as monetization products like Stars and affiliate, we also want to reward creators, especially those who are just starting out, for creating content their communities love,” the company said in the post.

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