Silicon Valley has enjoyed its relationship with Obama, but how will companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook fare under a Trump administration?
Americas technology industry has enjoyed a close relationship with President Obamas administration since he was elected in 2008 a fact that will not be lost on president-elect Donald Trump, who pitched his own ideas about technology policy while campaigning.
The technology sector is responsible for 6% of the nations economy and nearly $1tn in GDP for 2014 alone, according to the trade body the Internet Association. Trump needs to engage but what policies is he likely to formulate?
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Googles parent company Alphabet, said last week that the industry is in for a big change. [Republicans] have a traditional set of doctrinal issues which are now being challenged by the new president and I dont think we know [how that will play out]. The top five most valued companies in America today are Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. If the all-R team is very focused on big business, theres five big businesses right there.
Trumps technology team?
The first big indicator of his position on technology came from the appointment of PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel to his transition team. In Democrat-heavy California and Silicon Valley, Thiel was an anomaly in his support for Trump, even ploughing another $1.25m to the campaign shortly after Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women.
Trumps likely appointment of Jeffrey Eisenach as head of the regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is another clear indicator. Eisenach, who served on transition teams for both Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George W Bush in 2000, is a vocal proponent of scaling back the powers of the FCC. He is also expected to push for reversal of the hard-fought 2015 net neutrality rules, which stops internet providers prioritizing more profitable or preferred services.