Thursday, Mar 04, 2021 - 06:59:24
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The DOJ’s Antitrust:

    Senator Amy Klobuchar speaks at the Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidates debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., February 7, 2020.Brian Snyder | Reuters There is growing hostility to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among an increasing number of policymakers in Washington, D.C. Last year, some in Congress called for a merger moratorium banning all M&A during the pandemic. Then, in a surprise announcement, the FTC — over the objection of two commissioners — said it would no longer quickly approve the vast majority of transactions notified to the government that cannot plausibly reduce competition. Most recently, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced antitrust reform legislation that would give the government even greater power to block M&A it deems problematic. While these proposals are well-intentioned, they threaten to throw sand in the gears of the economy and to do far more harm than good. Adding friction to M&A...
    Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joe Simon speaks during a press conference on September 4, 2019, at the FTC headquarters in Washington, DC.Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images With its groundbreaking antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, the Federal Trade Commission is facing more than just a fight against a multi-billion dollar tech giant — it's battling to regain credibility that could determine its future. The FTC was roundly criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle following privacy settlements tech hawks deemed to be toothless. In July 2019, the agency settled a privacy investigation into Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal for $5 billion, representing about 9% of the company's 2018 revenue. Shortly after, it settled alleged violations of children's privacy on Google-owned YouTube for $170 million. "The FTC is foolish & foolhardy to rely on money alone to punish decades of past privacy violations & ongoing profiteering," Sen....
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks at a media conference in Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 2, 2018.Lucy Nicholson | Reuters California is seeking to join the Justice Department in its antitrust lawsuit against Google, according to a court filing the state submitted on Friday. The move makes Google's home state the first Democratic enforcer to seek to join the DOJ and eleven Republican attorneys general in the lawsuit. California did not join the initial group of 50 states and territories that launched an investigation into the search giant last year, but Politico later reported it had been pursuing its own probe. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who recently became President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, said in the filing that California would not seek any changes to the original complaint announced in October. "By using exclusionary agreements to dominate the market, Google...
    Put yourself in the well-shined shoes of some ambitious lawyer in the Department of Justice – someone who's managed to win a coveted spot on the team bringing the antitrust case against Google. This is the case of a lifetime. Billions of dollars are at stake in a precedent-setting legal action against one of the world's biggest and most visible companies. Win this one and you can resign from your civil service job and walk into a partnership at some big silk-stocking law firm. But you've got a problem. You can't go into court with some vague complaint about how Google is just too big. It's not against the law to be worth more than $1 trillion. To win the case, your team has to show first that Google has "monopolized or attempted to monopolize" some market. That's not going to be easy. Google operates in two distinct markets. The...
    The Department of Justice is investigating antitrust concerns surrounding Penske Media’s deal to buy The Hollywood Reporter, The Post has learned. Sources close to the situation said the DOJ has begun a formal and “active investigation” of the merger, concerned that it would put three of the four major trade publications that cover Hollywood under a single roof, sources close to the situation said. In late September, PMC CEO Jay Penske, son of auto-racing kingpin Roger Penske, inked a $225 million deal to acquire 80 percent of The Hollywood Reporter’s parent MRC — a merger that would also give PMC control of the influential music trade magazines Billboard and Vibe. The deal is slated to close by the end of the year. Sources said DOJ officials have been reaching out to third parties — including ad agencies that work with digital media companies and in-the-know Hollywood talent agencies that rep...
    Video of Trump rally appears to show attendee making hand gesture commonly used by white supremacists Fast-food giants like Chipotle and Dunkin are doubling down on TikTok. Here are the top 7 brands winning over Gen Z customers Googles long-time rivals say DOJ antitrust suit shows its lost its halo in the eyes of regulators The Justice Department's new antitrust lawsuit against Google has given some of the tech company's long-time rivals a level of validation. Yelp's Luther Lowe and Foundem's Shivaun Raff have pushed regulators to look into Google's competitive practices for about a decade. Three Google opponents called the lawsuit a good first step, though they hope state attorneys general will expand the case. © Provided by CNBC Foundem creators Shivaun and Adam Raff stand outside of the European Court of Justice for Google's appeal hearing in its competition case in 2020. When Shivaun Raff...
    Foundem creators Shivaun and Adam Raff stand outside of the European Court of Justice for Google's appeal hearing in its competition case in 2020.Shivaun Raff When Shivaun Raff began speaking with European regulators about her complaints of Google's exclusionary conduct over a decade ago, she seemed to stand more or less alone. "Where is everyone?" she recalled regulatory staff asking her husband/co-founder at the time. "Why are you the first people that have come to talk to us?" In 2020, Raff is far from alone in her complaints against Google. Though her vertical search start-up Foundem was the lead complainant in the European Union's investigation into Google's shopping comparison business, many others have joined her fight in the years since. Rivals from around the world have gone public with their complaints that Google unfairly wields its dominance in internet search to edge out competitors, among complaints about its opaque advertising...
    The government’s quest to rein in Big Tech just took a major step forward. Two weeks after the House antitrust subcommittee issued its landmark report outlining the anticompetitive abuses of the top players, the Department of Justice made its long-awaited move against Google. The DOJ’s antitrust division announced Tuesday that it is suing Google parent Alphabet Inc. over antitrust law violations surrounding its search engine, saying the company has become “the monopoly gatekeeper of the internet.” The landmark case alleges Google abused its market-dominant position and stifled competitors, specifically citing its exclusionary distribution agreements with Apple Inc. and other technology companies that made its search engine the default option on mobile devices and browsers. Google, in a blog post rebuttal, called the suit “deeply flawed,” adding consumers choose to use its free search engine because they prefer it. Eleven Republican state attorneys general signed on to the case. For months now, we’ve known that the DOJ has been preparing an...
    Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal criminal charges related to opioid crisis We tried store-bought pumpkin pies from 5 major grocery stores and Wegmans tasted practically homemade The DOJ antitrust lawsuit against Google could pose a risk to Apples valuation, analyst says © Mandel Ngan/Getty Images; Denis Balibouse/Reuters Mandel Ngan/Getty Images; Denis Balibouse/Reuters The Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit against Google could pose a risk to Apple's valuation, according to a Wednesday analyst note from Bank of America. As detailed in the lawsuit, Apple has received up to $12 billion per year in high margin licensing fees from Alphabet for setting Google as the default search option on iPhones. If that agreement is determined to violate antitrust policies, it could represent a significant hit to Apple's earnings and a risk to its $2 trillion valuation. "Any changes to the rev share agreement could lead to a potential rev/margin...
     Presented by the Walton Family Foundation   To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN   --> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* *Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.   NEWS THIS MORNING I know, I know. Google lawsuits happen a lot. But this one is big:   Via The New York Times’s David McCabe and Cecilia Kang, “The Justice Department accused Google of maintaining an illegal monopoly over search and search advertising in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, the government’s most significant legal challenge to a tech company’s market power in a generation.” https://nyti.ms/3dIw2Mj  For example: “…through several exclusive business contracts and agreements that lock out competition. Such contracts include Google’s payment of billions of dollars to...
    Bridging divides – political and otherwise – to make a positive impact How to Practically and Specifically Help Restaurants This Election Year Google was just hit with an antitrust lawsuit from the DOJ. Heres what antitrust means and how trust-busting laws attempt to keep the biggest firms in US history from growing too powerful. © Provided by Business Insider An 1889 political cartoon. Nawrocki/ClassicStock/Getty Images Antitrust laws were created to keep the big conglomerates, or trusts, that were forming across oil, railroad, steel, and other sectors in the late 1800s and early 1900s from growing too large and powerful. Now, regulators are coming after 21st-century big tech — the Department of Justice filed an antitrust case against Google over antitrust concerns on Tuesday. Google as well as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook have been under heavy scrutiny this year with a congressional investigation into online market competition. The investigation...
    Oilers have been talking to Coyotes about Oliver Ekman-Larsson The best deals to look for on Amazon Prime Day 2020 Ubers push to expand its food delivery empire just hit another roadblock as the DOJ scrutinizes its plan to buy Postmates © Reuters Uber has become increasingly reliant on food delivery during the pandemic. Reuters The DOJ is taking a closer look at Uber's plans to buy Postmates, Uber disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday. The "second request," as it's called, puts the deal on hold indefinitely until both companies "substantially comply" with the government's request for more details and it gives the deal a green light. But the DOJ's request signals it's "concerned about the deal," Sam Weinstein, a former DOJ antitrust lawyer, told Business Insider. Uber pivoted to buy Postmates after merger talks with Grubhub reportedly fell through over similar  antitrust concerns as the platform faces...
    The New York Times claims in a new report that the Department of Justice has plans to file antitrust charges against Google within the coming weeks. The New York Times reports that the Justice Department plans to bring an antitrust case against Google within the next few weeks after Attorney General William P. Barr reportedly overruled lawyers who said they needed more time to build a case against the tech giant. The New York Times writes: Justice Department officials told lawyers involved in the antitrust inquiry into Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, to wrap up their work by the end of September, according to three of the people. Most of the 40-odd lawyers who had been working on the investigation opposed the deadline. Some said they would not sign the complaint, and several of them left the case this summer. Some argued this summer in a memo that ran hundreds of pages that...
    Officials from the DOJ and some state attorneys general are reportedly set to meet on Friday to discuss an antitrust probe of  Google. Reuters reports that U.S. Justice Department officials and some state attorneys general have set a meeting for Friday to discuss an antitrust probe of Google. The federal government and nearly all state attorneys general have now opened investigations into allegations that Google has broken antitrust laws. The federal probe is focusing heavily on search bias, advertising and Google’s Android mobile operating system. Breitbart News reported in November of 2019 that the attorneys general which are representing 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C will be writing up subpoenas known as civil investigative demands (CID) to support the investigations. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the probe, which initially focused mainly on Google’s advertising business. But at a recent meeting, Paxton expressed his support for expanding the purview of...
    Google is getting unwanted fat off the struggling information business by applying its posture as the nation’s dominant look for engine to power publishers into unfair agreements, according to a new analysis report. The Alphabet-owned web company has develop into these kinds of a potent pressure for driving World wide web traffic that it even dictates how news publications format their internet internet pages, the surprising information-field paper states. This has resulted in news companies staying “forced to establish mirror-graphic web-sites.” Google does this by telling news providers that they have “no option but to put into practice Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) conventional — or else get rid of important placement in cell look for and the resulting lookup targeted visitors,” in accordance to the paper by Information Media Alliance, which phone calls alone the “voice of the news media industry.” Google then takes advantage of the AMP...
    Google is getting fat off the struggling news industry by using its position as the nation’s dominant search engine to force publishers into unfair agreements, according to a new research report. The Alphabet-owned internet company has become such a powerful force for driving Web traffic that it even dictates how news publications format their web pages, the shocking news-industry paper says. This has resulted in news organizations being “forced to build mirror-image websites.” Google does this by telling news companies that they have “no choice but to implement Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) standard — or else lose critical placement in mobile search and the resulting search traffic,” according to the paper by News Media Alliance, which calls itself the “voice of the news media industry.” Google then uses the AMP format for quick-loading pages to cash in at the expense of publishers, including by sending news created by others...
            by Peter Hasson and Chris White   Department of Justice investigators who are conducting an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the tech giant manipulates its search function, leaks about the probe and a source familiar with it indicate. Google critics argue that Google Search must be a focus of the investigation, pointing to the company’s sheer dominance in the market: Google consistently accounts for roughly 90% of online information searches, and company employees have expressed a willingness to artificially manipulate search results on the platform. Google did not comment on allegations of search bias, or on the pending antitrust investigation. “We continue to engage with the ongoing investigations led by the Department of Justice and Attorney General Paxton, and we don’t have any updates or comments on speculation,” Google spokeswoman Julie McAlister told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The company’s goal is focusing on...
    Investigators with the Department of Justice involved in an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the company manipulates its search feature, leaks of the investigation and a source with knowledge indicate.   Researchers and critics argue Google’s search feature is subject to manipulation and can potentially impact a national election or direct less traffic to the Silicon Valley giant’s competitors.  DOJ investigators are instead focusing on Google’s ad technology and are considering whether to require the tech company to provide Android users a preference menu for potential search engines, media reports show. Department of Justice investigators who are conducting an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the tech giant manipulates its search function, leaks about the probe and a source familiar with it indicate. Google critics argue that Google Search must be a focus of the investigation, pointing...
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