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The day of reckoning for Big Tech in Europe?

The day of reckoning for Big Tech in Europe?

The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. This fortnightly update shares top tips to help you foster creative and challenge the status quo and summarises the news that matters.

The world of Big Tech has long been seen as something of a Wild West. A fast-moving landscape, governed by the most dominant players and operating under regulations that quickly become obsolete as updates roll into town and through the saloon doors.

But now, new laws are being pursued across Europe which would put restrictions on some of the biggest companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

The proposed changes would prevent Amazon and Apple from showing their own products highest up on their online stores, push Facebook to make its services more compatible with other social networks and force Google to share search data with smaller competitors.

And changes are brewing on the other side of the Atlantic too. Last week, executives of the four US tech giants went on trial in front of US Congress in a bid to determine whether the companies have too much power. The result of these high-profile conversations could be further legislation in the US which seeks to break up the control these brands enjoy over the market.

The halcyon days aren’t over for these giants, as Amazon, Facebook and Apple all logged record profits during the pandemic. However, if enacted, this dual action in Europe and the US could lead to a completely new imagining of our digital economy – and open the way for smaller businesses to enter the industry.

Quotes of note from the US congressional hearing:

  • “I love garage entrepreneurs. I was one. But, just like the world needs small companies, it also needs large ones. There are things small companies simply can’t do.” – Jeff Bezos
  • “There is nothing in the [Google] algorithm that has anything to do with political ideology.” – Sundar Pichai
  • “[The business environment is] so competitive I’d describe it as a street fight for market share in the smartphone business.” – Tim Cook

Tool of the week

Remote working in 2020 has a blurry quality to it. You’re at home, but you’re also at work. Does that mean that you’re working from home, or living at work?

Happily, Adobe Acrobat Pro and artist Adam J. Kurtz have teamed up to create some (very visually appealing) printable tools to help find balance in your life. They include:

  • An undated weekly planner for meetings, goals and important dates
  • A to-do list for “now” and “soon”, letting you prioritise what’s ‘urgent’ and what’s ‘urgent urgent’
  • Support system activity giving you a space to set out – and refer back to – your core values
  • A monthly mood check-in to guide you in working out where you’re at, headspace-wise

Explore the toolkits here – and let us know how you get on.

Top tip

This week’s tip comes from Junior Account Manager, Eoin McGrath.

Most of us have had to rearrange holidays, so it is always nice to think of ways to see the world in this new landscape that can feel more physically confined. What if you could bring the far-away streets and buildings to life? Not only where you can’t physically go to at the moment, but by taking a step back in time as well.

You can now see New York from the turn of the 20th century with a new immersive augmented reality app. Known as the Metro ARchive, this project was developed by a couple of New York University students in collaboration with the New York Time R&D Lab. You can see more about how it works here.
The app is currently a prototype, but you can sign up and test it out right now. This prototype allows you to explore Chinatown’s Tuxedo Restaurant.

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