By David Moore, Sludge

[With the massive Facebook Papers leak, and tech CEOs visiting Capitol Hill this morning for a purported grilling, external signs are that Congress is getting serious about tech regulation. But, a cursory look under the hood reveals that senators in both parties are shoring up their portfolios with major tech stock holdings. Whether Congress has the political will to enact major regulatory tech reforms remains to be seen, but with millions in personal wealth on the line, we’re not holding our breath for these lawmakers to act. — Progressive Hub]

On Friday morning, new unredacted documents were released from a state attorneys general lawsuit claiming that Google and Facebook colluded to divvy up the digital ad market, with Google allegedly giving Facebook special advantages when using its ad platform through a secret agreement nicknamed “Jedi Blue.” The unsealed complaint provided a wealth of details on the antitrust suit filed by the Texas attorney general in December 2020 and joined by 14 other states and Puerto Rico. The documents also allege that Google pitched tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft on joining efforts to stall proposed data privacy protections for children and teens.

Jon Ossoff and John Hickenlooper in front of Apple, Google, and Microsoft logos

As the House and Senate consider sweeping new legislation aimed at reining in the power of Big Tech, senators may soon vote on laws that could enable the regulatory breakup of companies in which they’re invested. Currently, 18 senators or their households own stock in the tech companies nicknamed FANGAM—for Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Google (parent company Alphabet), Amazon, and Microsoft—valued at a minimum of $9.9 million and a maximum of $24.6 million, according to a Sludge review of financial disclosures. The assets are reported to the Senate Office of Public Records as being held individually, by a spouse, in a joint trust, or for a dependent child, and their values are only disclosed as broad ranges, making a more precise tally impossible.

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