Tag: Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues

State Attorneys General Said to Be Near Formal Investigation of Tech Companies

The state attorneys general in more than a dozen states are preparing to begin an antitrust investigation of the major tech companies, according to two people briefed on the discussions, increasing pressure on the firms. The bipartisan group of attorneys general has not yet issued civilian subpoenas — known as civil investigative demands — to […]

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Paging Big Brother: In Amazon’s Bookstore, Orwell Gets a Rewrite

SAN FRANCISCO — In George Orwell’s “1984,” the classics of literature are rewritten into Newspeak, a revision and reduction of the language meant to make bad thoughts literally unthinkable. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” one true believer exults. Now some of the writer’s own words are getting reworked in Amazon’s vast virtual […]

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Is Josh Hawley the Future of the G.O.P.?

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | RadioPublic | Stitcher Is Missouri Senator Josh Hawley the future of the Republican Party? This week on “The Argument,” Ross Douthat sits down with the first-term lawmaker to discuss the conservative case for cracking down on powerful […]

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The Phony Patriots of Silicon Valley

Not long ago, many leading technologists considered themselves too lofty and idealistic to concern themselves with the petty affairs of government. John Perry Barlow, a lion of the early internet, addressed his “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” to the “governments of the industrial world,” saying that for him and his fellow netizens, these creaky […]

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How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power

SAN FRANCISCO — Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for the breakup of big tech companies like Facebook. Regulators have opened investigations into Facebook’s power in social networking. Even one of Facebook’s own founders has laid out a case for why the company needs to be split up. Now the world’s biggest social network has started […]

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EBay Accuses Amazon Managers of Conspiring to Poach Its Sellers

SEATTLE — EBay has accused three Amazon managers of illegally conspiring to poach its sellers, escalating a monthslong feud between two of the country’s largest e-commerce companies. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, eBay says the Amazon managers directed dozens of workers to illegally […]

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Are We Finally Getting Serious About Big Tech Monopolies?

Here’s a little quiz. When was the last time a significant social media network was founded in the United States? And what about a competitive search engine company? An online ad network? And what about a truly wide-ranging e-commerce start-up? Here are the depressing answers. The social network Snapchat, in 2011. For search, Microsoft’s Bing […]

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A Bad Deal for Mobile Phone Customers

The Justice Department apparently thinks that Americans will benefit from competition among at least four major mobile phone companies. That is the clear logic of its decision on Friday to bless the marriage of T-Mobile and Sprint, two of the four existing mobile phone giants, on the condition that they clear the way for the […]

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T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Is Approved by Justice Dept., Clearing Major Hurdle

The Justice Department on Friday approved the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the third- and fourth-largest wireless companies in the United States, moving the deal one crucial step closer to completion years after the two carriers first explored joining forces. Under the terms of the deal, T-Mobile, the larger of the two companies, would pay […]

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Chris Hughes, a Facebook Founder, Is Working With the Government to Break It Up

Chris Hughes used to huddle with Mark Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room building Facebook from scratch. Now, he’s huddling with regulators to explain why Facebook needs to be broken up. In recent weeks, Mr. Hughes has joined two leading antitrust academics, Scott Hemphill of New York University and Tim Wu of Columbia University, in […]

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Facebook Says F.T.C. Has Opened Formal Antitrust Investigation

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said on Wednesday that it was informed by the Federal Trade Commission last month that the agency had opened an antitrust investigation into the company and its business practices. The social network disclosed the investigation in its quarterly earnings announcement. While the F.T.C. was known to be looking into Facebook antitrust […]

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Justice Department Opens Antitrust Review of Big Tech Companies

The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it would start an antitrust review into how powerful internet companies had accumulated market power and whether they had acted to reduce competition, in another threat to the growing power of America’s technology giants. The Justice Department did not name specific companies in a news release announcing the […]

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Amazon Faces E.U. Inquiry Over Data From Independent Sellers

LONDON — Amazon is coming under scrutiny from the European Commission over how it collects and uses data from third-party sellers who appear on the retailing giant’s website and whether that breaches antitrust rules. The investigation was announced on Wednesday as the latest effort by European regulators to examine antitrust concerns about giant technology firms. […]

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How Drivers Can Beat Uber at Its Own Game

Uber and other ride-sharing companies are locked in all-out battle with their drivers over what might seem like a fairly straightforward question: Are they employees of the companies or not? The drivers notched a victory last week when the California Legislature took another step toward codifying a state court decision that expanded the definition of […]

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‘I Don’t Trust You Guys’: Lawmakers Unite to Take Aim at Big Tech

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers leveled stinging criticism and sharp questions at Big Tech executives on Tuesday, attacking Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for their market power, their perceived bias as gatekeepers of communication and Facebook’s ambitions to reshape the financial industry. The criticisms came at three hearings on Capitol Hill that showcased Washington’s widening range of […]

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Fighting Big Tech Makes for Some Uncomfortable Bedfellows

It was not a given that Steve Hilton, the conservative Fox News host, and Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor who worked in the Obama White House, would get along. But when they met by chance at a cocktail party in Washington last year, they quickly landed on one surprisingly strong point of agreement: […]

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Facebook Dodged a Bullet From the F.T.C. It Faces Many More.

LONDON — After Facebook was hit on Friday with a fine of around $5 billion for privacy violations, critics immediately said it escaped largely unscathed: The settlement neither bruised its bottom line nor severely restricted its ability to collect people’s data. Yet even if the Silicon Valley company dodged that bullet, its pain was just […]

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F.T.C. Approves Facebook Fine of About $5 Billion

The Federal Trade Commission voted this week to fine Facebook about $5 billion for mishandling users’ personal information, according to two people briefed on the vote, in what would be a landmark settlement that signals a newly aggressive stance by regulators toward the country’s most powerful technology companies. The agency approved the settlement in a […]

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Your Data Could Be at the Center of the Fight Against Big Tech

LONDON — Germany’s top antitrust enforcer, Andreas Mundt, recently asked a room full of lawyers, academics and regulators to imagine a wall filled with their personal information collected by Facebook and Google. He told them to picture it stocked with their data broken up into categories like finances, location, relationships and hobbies. “That is you,” […]

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Letting the Internet Regulate Itself Was a Good Idea — in the 1990s

Tech regulation may be the only thing on which a polarized Capitol Hill can agree. “We should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, and perhaps we will,” President Trump recently declared. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, has made the breakup of tech companies a central plank of her campaign. Even Silicon […]

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