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Kamala Harris is a friend, not foe, of Big Tech

An audible collective sigh of aid from Silicon Valley got here shortly after Kamala Harris was named operating mate of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Harris, D-Calif., views Big Tech as a accomplice slightly than as a menace, and has struck a average tone towards the trade on a number of fronts. As a presidential candidate, Harris did not assist breaking apart Facebook Inc.
FB,
+1.46%

, Google guardian Alphabet Inc.
GOOGL,
+1.80%

GOOG,
+1.77%

and Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+2.64%

, as did Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, however as a substitute was open to strengthening antitrust enforcement. Like Biden, she just lately referred to as for a rise on company taxes however stopped quick of supporting a tax on the property held by the wealthiest Americans.

“The tech companies have got to be regulated in a way that we can ensure and the American consumer can be certain that their privacy is not being compromised,” Harris advised the New York Times. She was evasive, although, when requested whether or not tech giants must be splintered.

“Now that we have a candidate, and it is not a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, tech donors are ready to support the ticket. They were looking for someone who won’t break up Big Tech but do believe antitrust needs to happen,” Cooper Teboe, a Democratic fundraiser in Silicon Valley, advised MarketWatch in a telephone interview. “In her defense, Harris was chummy in her role as [California Attorney General] in a state where the industry is so influential.”

Teboe expects the Biden-Harris ticket to gather a windfall of donations from high-tech executives, enterprise capitalists, and others by the tip of the month.

Count Salesforce.com Inc.
CRM,
+0.32%

Chief Executive Marc Benioff amongst Harris’s supporters: When she ran for president, he donated $2,700 to her marketing campaign, based on a MarketWatch evaluation of contributions from Jan. 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, as reported to the FEC.

A Salesforce spokesperson was not instantly accessible for remark.

Read extra: Here’s who America’s CEOs are backing within the Democratic presidential race

Fundraisers for her presidential bid additionally included Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and former PayPal Holdings lnc.
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chief working officer, and enterprise capital legend John Doerr.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s assist for Harris runs so deep, the tech exec supported Harris over ex-Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly within the race for California AG in 2010 and was a important supporter in Harris’ profitable bid for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Harris, in flip, helped Sandberg promote her best-selling ebook, Lean In (2013).

Even enterprise capitalist Roger McNamee, a long-time nemesis of Sandberg and writer of “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” is “extremely optimistic that Harris, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon before her, understands the duties of national leaders differ from state office holders,” he advised MarketWatch.

As a doable future vice chairman, he says, Harris will symbolize the pursuits of all Americans as a result of the Biden-Harris ticket will “owe its election to the support of voters who were harmed by internet platforms.”

Harris, who spent a massive chunk of her early profession in San Francisco as district legal professional earlier than occurring to California legal professional common and U.S. senator, is anticipated to fill a vacuum on tech coverage. Biden has not made tech points a precedence throughout his marketing campaign, although his group of advisers have lots of roots in Silicon Valley.

Harris’s workplace did not reply to an electronic mail looking for remark.

Yet if the addition of Harris has heartened tech, it has raised alarms amongst some shopper advocates.

“It was deeply troubling that as AG, she oversaw the growth of the biggest sector in America that dominates our privacy and our choices, and didn’t file a single case to take on that power. It would the equivalent of the New York AG not filing a single case against Wall Street,” says Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit that has aggressively pushed for antitrust actions towards Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Harris’s late endorsement of SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which made web sites like Google and Facebook accountable for aiding intercourse trafficking, confirmed her willingness to “run interference” for tech, Court advised MarketWatch.

In 2016, Harris threatened Uber Technologies Inc.
UBER,
-1.18%

with authorized motion if the corporate did not take away autonomous autos from California roads. When in Washington, nevertheless, she did not oppose laws that might have overridden California’s powerful guidelines on driverless vehicles.

Harris has proven a willingness to name out tech executives, as when she pressed Twitter Inc.
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CEO Jack Dorsey to ban President Donald Trump from the platform. But her entreaty went nowhere, and the matter was dropped.

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