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Tech News Roundup - 03/06/2018

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Trump Administration Stalls Largest Tech Merger in New Sign of Protectionism. A possible merger of two giant makers of computer chips could revolutionize the all-important industry - which touches everything from smartphones to cars - and shift the balance of power from California to Asia. (ITI Dean Garfield Quoted, New York Times)

Trump Reaffirms Commitment to Tariffs but Opens Door to Compromise. President Trump, facing an angry chorus of protests from leaders of his own party, including the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, insisted on Monday that he would not back down from his plan to impose across-the-board tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. (New York Times)

Policy News

FedRAMP looking at third-party access in upcoming authorization boundary guidance.The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program provided a preview of guidance it will soon issue on how internal components and external cloud service providers should document continuous monitoring compliance. (Fed Scoop)

Washington becomes first state to pass net neutrality law after FCC repeal. Washington became the first state in the country on Mondayto pass its own net neutrality law in the wake of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) repeal of the popular Obama-era rules. (The Hill)

U.S. pushes NAFTA talks pace, warns of political headwinds. Mexican and U.S. officials pushed on Monday to speed up NAFTA negotiations, with the United States floating the idea of reaching an agreement "in principle" in coming weeks to avoid political headwinds later this year. (Reuters)

Trump Administration Joins States in Push to Expand Online Sales-Tax Collections. The Trump administration on Monday urged the Supreme Court to expand states' authority to collect sales tax on internet transactions, joining a chorus of state officials seeking to overrule a 1992 precedent exempting many online retailers from having to add taxes to a consumer's final price. (Wall Street Journal)

Industry News

Microsoft to offer governments local version of Azure cloud service. Microsoft Corp on Monday said it will soon make it possible for government clients to run its cloud technology on their own servers as part of a concerted effort to make Azure more appealing to local and federal agencies. (Reuters)

Next Up for Amazon: Checking Accounts. Inc. AMZN 1.56% is in talks with big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. about building a checking-account-like product the online retailer could offer its customers, according to people familiar with the matter. (Wall Street Journal)

Facebook expands test around new "breaking news" label. Facebook will expand its "breaking news" label that's being tested in the U.S. to more than 50 additional publishers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Australia. (Axios)

Samsung to show off in-house AI startups at SXSW. Samsung Electronics will unveil three new projects from its C-Lab program based on artificial intelligence (AI) at the upcoming SXSW 2018 tradeshow, the company has announced. (ZDNet)

Restaurant Review Platform The Infatuation Buys Zagat. Restaurant discovery platform The Infatuation says it has entered into an agreement with Google to purchase Zagat, known for its heavily-quoted, crowd-sourced restaurant reviews in the pre-internet era. (Bloomberg)

Faced with increased criticism, Pentagon slashes cloud computing contract awarded to an Amazon partner. Faced with criticism over how it awarded a contract to move computer systems to the Internet cloud, the Pentagon on Monday slashed a deal awarded to an Amazon partner, cutting the amount from nearly $1 billion to no more than $65 million, while dramatically limiting the scope of work. (Washington Post)

New Foils for the Right: Google and Facebook. Conservatives are zeroing in on a new enemy in the political culture wars: Big Tech. (New York Times)

Senate investigators want answers from Reddit and Tumblr on Russia meddling. Congressional investigators probing Russian interference around the 2016 U.S. presidential election plan to question Reddit and Tumblr over new reports that the Kremlin may have helped spread disinformation on their sites, as lawmakers continue to explore the ways in which Russia weaponized social media. (Washington Post)

European Automakers Prepare for an Electric Future. Mike Reid loves his cherry-red 2016 BMW 335i sports sedan, especially the way this 2016 model accelerates and zips around corners. (New York Times)

Today on the Hill

The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First and last votes expected: 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

The Senate will convene and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act at 10:00 a.m.

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