The Insider Report is paid, monthly report published the first week of every month. These stories appeared in the June Insider Report, published earlier this month.
Antitrust Bills: The House Judiciary introduced five new antitrust bills this month. It is unlikely Congress will pass any of them, at least as proposed. There’s a bill that bans “self-preferencing” (when a company-run marketplace favors its own products over competitive options), one that limits acquisitions, an anti-walled-garden bill, FTC enforcement funding, and the intriguing bill called the ACCESS Act.
ACCESS forces interoperability on the biggest tech platforms. Very large companies will be required to offer an API that allows users to take their data to a rival service. APIs are great, but they also represent a new form of risk as a way hackers (and other providers) can steal personal information. The bill addresses security practices and a “circuit-breaker” feature that allows providers to temporarily shut off the API should a threat emerge.
Google Workspace for All: Workspace apps are now free for all Gmail users. It’s a bit confusing because Workspace Apps were free before. The announcement should have been that Google is retiring Hangouts (like it announced two years ago) and replacing it with Meet and Chat.
There were some other announcements regarding Meet and Chat that I will cover below, but what’s really important is that Workspace is replicating Teams by upgrading separate services. Instead of a big new app like Teams, Google has no actual desktop client. Instead, it’s a series of web apps that include chat, meetings, and productivity apps — all tightly integrated with calendar and email.
The web UI means all desktops have the exact same web client without any downloaded software. I like the model, but Google is a few years behind in many ways. Google Meet, for example, just got virtual backgrounds. Google has been steadily upgrading the Workspace suite — except telephony. Workspace customers might want to turn to Dialpad, RingCentral, or another integrated partner for telephony, but that creates overlaps as most UCaaS providers offer messaging and meetings.