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House Dems eye Silicon Valley crack down

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By David Ingram

Democrats’ takeover of the House is likely to result in even more hearings into the power of big tech companies — just on different subjects than Republicans are interested in.

Experts in technology policy said that they expect Democratic lawmakers, including incoming House committee chairs, to ramp up questions about data privacy, antitrust enforcement and the role of companies such as Facebook and Google in elections.

President Donald Trump signaled he may comply with these hearings, saying at a White House news conference that he would be willing to negotiate on the subject even if he was skeptical about regulations.

“When you start regulating, a lot of bad things can happen, but I would certainly talk to the Democrats if they want to do that, and I think they do want to do that,” Trump said.

The ongoing drumbeat of scrutiny would mean no letup for tech executives who have faced investigations on multiple fronts in recent years despite the fact that Silicon Valley generally supported the election of more Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

“The scrutiny of the big online platforms is going to continue,” said Gigi Sohn, a tech policy fellow at Georgetown Law.

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