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Big Tech Makes Inroads With the Biden Campaign

  • August 11, 2020

They are hoping to dissuade Mr. Biden, who has not made tech issues a major focus of his campaign, from following the example of his former boss, President Barack Obama, whose embrace of tech companies helped turn them into darlings in Washington.

Today the tech giants are trying to fend off new regulations or antitrust lawsuits. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have spent more than a year investigating Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple for possible violations of competition law. During a House hearing last month, lawmakers from both parties grilled the chief executives of all four companies about accusations that their dominance had hurt consumers, rivals and small businesses, as well as what they were doing to police false information.

“The environment is very different now,” said Robert D. Atkinson, the president of a think tank that has been funded in part by Google, the Information Technology Innovation Foundation. “When Obama took office, you know, tech was like a bromance kind of thing. Everybody loved it, and people didn’t see the issues that some people see now.”

A co-author of “Big Is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business,” a 2018 book, Mr. Atkinson is among the allies of Big Tech on the Innovation Policy Committee. While he said the members represented “a fairly diverse set of views,” he predicted that a potential Biden administration would face significant pressure from the left to clamp down on the major tech companies.

Matt Hill, a spokesman for Mr. Biden’s campaign, said in a statement that the former vice president would not take it easy on Big Tech.

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