REUTERS: The arcane topic of antitrust law is getting more attention with the U.S. government gearing up to investigate whether Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, and Amazon.com Inc compete fairly.The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice, which both have jurisdiction to enforce antitrust laws, have divided oversight over the four companies, with Amazon and Facebook under the watch of the FTC, and Apple and Google under the Justice Department, sources told Reuters.The potential investigations have been welcomed by some consumer advocates, who say big technology companies stifle competition and hold too much sway over speech and commerce.But some legal experts said the investigations may not lead to major reforms, noting that U.S. law makes it difficult to prove an antitrust violation.The following answers some questions about the basics of U.S. antitrust law and what regulators will focus on:What are antitrust laws for?Antitrust laws seek to promote … [Read more...] about Explainer: Should Big Tech fear US antitrust enforcers?
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WASHINGTON: The US administration is stepping up scrutiny of Big Tech firms, which could result in a series of drawn-out legal battles aimed at reining in -- and potentially breaking up -- giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have carved out territory for the investigations to set the stage for reviews of the dominance of the largest of the Silicon Valley firms, media reports said. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department will lead the Google probe, leaving the FTC to review the competition practices of Amazon and Facebook. The moves comes amid a rising "techlash" stemming from privacy and data protection lapses at tech firms, and growing concerns about the sheer dominance of these firms. Politicians on both sides of the political aisle have been stepping up criticism, and some presidential candidates have called for the biggest firms to be broken up. Analysts say the political winds have shifted against … [Read more...] about US gears up for antitrust battles with Big Tech
NEW YORK: The Nasdaq tumbled on Monday as tech giants Alphabet/Google, Facebook and Amazon suffered bruising losses on reports that US antitrust officials are stepping up oversight of Big Tech.The Nasdaq Composite Index slumped 120.13 points (1.61 per cent) to 7,333.02, a declined known as a "correction" in Wall Street parlance.The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a gain of 4.74 points (0.02 per cent) to finish at 24,819.78, while the broad-based S&P 500 shed 7.61 points (0.28 per cent) to settle at 2,744.45.The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission had agreed to coordinate antitrust enforcement over the biggest tech companies, with Justice taking the lead on Google and the FTC handling Facebook and some aspects of Amazon.The report follows on the heels of myriad controversies involving the companies and as some presidential candidates call for the giants to broken up.Shares of Facebook … [Read more...] about Nasdaq ends 1.6% lower amid US antitrust scrutiny of Big Tech
By Heather Scoffield Economics Columnist Mon., May 13, 2019 Twice in the past 10 weeks, Big Tech has told Ottawa to get lost. First, Google refused to play along with new election rules on advertising, saying it didn’t have time to prepare. Then, Facebook refused to implement recommendations of the federal privacy commissioner, ignoring his findings of breach of trust. Now, like parents who have nurtured their high-tech children in the name of economic development only to watch them grow up and take over the house without heed for consequences, policy-makers don’t quite know what to do. The most powerful companies in the world, whose market value is growing exponentially, are meeting their day of reckoning in Europe, where lawmakers are introducing regulations, taxes and fines to curtail their power. In the United States, one of the co-founders of Facebook called last week for the breakup of the company through antitrust laws. Democratic presidential … [Read more...] about Canada has a small hand when it faces off against Big Tech
LONDON — In Spain, activists were convicted for social media posts that violated an expanded anti-terrorism law. The Twitter accounts of German citizens were blocked because of rules enacted last year that prohibit hate speech. And a Dutch court determined Google must remove search results about a doctor punished for poor performance, in compliance with a privacy law. Heralded as the world’s toughest watchdog of Silicon Valley technology giants, Europe has clamped down on violent content, hate speech and misinformation online through a thicket of new laws and regulations over the last five years. Now there are questions about whether the region is going too far, with the rules leading to accusations of censorship and potentially providing cover to some governments to stifle dissent. The unintended consequences may be compounded as European governments pursue more laws and policies to restrict what communication can be shared online. Last month, Britain proposed appointing … [Read more...] about News Europe takes on big tech: Has it gone too far?