EU hits Amazon with anti-trust charges for damaging retail competition

a sign on the side of a building: MailOnline logo

© Provided by Daily Mail
MailOnline logo

The European Union has charged Amazon with damaging retail competition, accusing the US company of using its size, power and data to give it an unfair advantage over smaller merchants that sell on its online platform.

The move on Tuesday by competition chief Margrethe Vestager was the latest European salvo against US tech giants.

It comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified Amazon’s role in the global economy, with online sales soaring amid lockdowns.

The European Commission has been investigating Amazon’s dual role – as a marketplace for merchants and also a rival seller.

Margrethe Vestager holding a sign: The European Union has charged Amazon with damaging retail competition, accusing the US company of using its size, power and data to give it an unfair advantage over smaller merchants that sell on its online platform. Pictured: The EU's competition chief Margrethe Vestager announces the charges on Tuesday

© Provided by Daily Mail
The European Union has charged Amazon with damaging retail competition, accusing the US company of using its size, power and data to give it an unfair advantage over smaller merchants that sell on its online platform. Pictured: The EU’s competition chief

Read More

The FTC may sue Facebook over antitrust violations by late November

The FTC may have narrowed down the time frame for an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. Politico sources claim the Commission is “likely” to sue Facebook before November is over. It might not be the quick, public legal battle some would hope for, though. Officials are reportedly leaning toward an “internal” case that would put the matter in front of an administrative law judge rather than letting states join in. That would increase the chances of a successful action, but could also involve a years-long process.

Facebook and the FTC have declined to comment, although Facebook has previously disputed allegations of being anti-competitive.

The long-in-the-works suit is expected to accuse Facebook of using acquisitions and control over data to squelch competition. It won’t necessarily force the company to offload Instagram or WhatsApp. Those are options, however, when officials have argued that much has changed since the FTC slapped Facebook with a

Read More

Google antitrust case suggests Apple should be in the Department of Justice’s crosshairs too

Courtesy of Hemant K. Bhargava, University of California, Davis

Google’s payments to Apple to promote its search engine in iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are at the center of the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant.

The suit alleges this creates a “continuous and self-reinforcing cycle of monopolization” by limiting which search engines consumers can use.

But as someone who studies platform markets, competition and industry structure, I believe the agreement seems more like a damning indictment of Apple’s own potentially illegal business practices.

Why Google needs Apple

The Department of Justice alleges that Google pays Apple and other device-makers to set its search engine as the default “on billions of mobile devices and computers worldwide,” thus controlling how users access the internet.

It’s true, Google is dominant in search, which accounted for an estimated 83% of parent company Alphabet’s revenue in 2019.

But about half of

Read More

How the 2020 election could impact antitrust regulation

  • We break down what antitrust regulation will look like in 2021 as a result of today’s election. 
  • Both a Biden administration and a second-term Trump Justice Department would continue to pursue antitrust actions against Google and possibly other tech companies.
  • Insider Intelligence analyzes this industry and several others to provide in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. Learn more about what we offer.

On October 6, the Antitrust Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee released the findings of its investigation of anticompetitive behavior in digital markets, specifically by Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. Two weeks later, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and several state attorneys general sued Google over practices that cemented its dominance in search.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Alphabet tech antitrust hearing

Both a Biden administration and a second-term Trump Justice Department would continue to pursue antitrust actions against Google.

YouTube/House Judiciary

But any move to break these companies up will take years of

Read More

Scott Galloway on the Antitrust Case Against Google

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Late last month the Department of Justice filed a long-anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of engaging in anti-competitive practices. It’s the most aggressive challenge the DOJ has made against a tech giant since it accused Microsoft of anti-competitive practices in 1997. The lawsuit homes in on Google’s search dominance in the United States (Google represents 80 percent, according to the complaint) and the practices and deals that have solidified that claim. The case is sure to take years, but the ramifications for Silicon Valley — and the country in general — may be huge. Intelligencer spoke with Scott Galloway, marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business and co-host of Vox Media’s Pivot podcast, about the complaint, the potential remedies, and the odds that a tech executive will end up in handcuffs sometime after Election Day.

What is your initial read of the

Read More

FTC discusses potential antitrust case against Facebook

Thursday’s meeting came two days after the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, and as coalitions of state attorneys general are weighing whether to bring their own complaints against the search giant. Facebook — with more than 2.2 billion users worldwide — ranks second behind Google in claiming a share of revenue from the online advertising market.

Attorneys general from multiple states are also pursuing antitrust probes against Facebook, though it is unclear whether they would be able to join the FTC’s case if the agency files one.

The FTC investigative process involves teams of antitrust attorneys, economists and litigators who can each make their own recommendation to the agency’s commissioners on whether to pursue a case. Attorneys from the agency’s Bureau of Competition marshal documents and witness interviews, while staff in the Bureau of Economics analyze economic theories and models to determine whether they have enough evidence

Read More

Online giants will have to open ad archives to EU antitrust regulators

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Dominant tech companies will have to explain how their algorithms work under proposed new EU rules and also open up their ad archives to regulators and researchers, Europe’s digital and antitrust chief said on Friday.

The move is likely to impact U.S. online giants such as Alphabet unit Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, with their treasure troves of data and lucrative online advertising businesses.

Advertising algorithms help companies target ads at the users that advertisers want to reach.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the goal was to shed light on how these algorithms work and to make sure that companies are accountable for their decisions.

“And the biggest platforms would have to provide more information on the way their algorithms work, when regulators ask for it,” she told an event organised by research agency AlgorithmWatch and the European Policy Centre.

They’d also

Read More

Google crushes expectations while under spotlight for alleged antitrust violations


Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. 

Richard Nieva/CNET

Google on Thursday unveiled its third-quarter financial results, as the search giant deals with the fallout of a landmark antitrust lawsuit from the US government. For all of the company’s woes, business is still booming.

The earnings report, which showed better than expected revenue and earnings, provides a snapshot of the company’s massive search and advertising operations, two key aspects of the company’s business that have drawn the most scrutiny from antitrust regulators.

“We had a strong quarter, consistent with the broader online environment,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a statement.

Google’s power stems from its digital ad business, a juggernaut that brings in about 85% of the company’s roughly $160 billion in annual sales. The ad operation is fueled

Read More

Top EU Antitrust Investigator Warns Against Break Up of Big Tech Companies

As the European Union increasingly targets big tech companies, top antitrust enforcer Margrethe Vestager has warned against the structural break up of big tech companies (via The Information).

The comments were somewhat surprising, as Vestager has aggressively pursued antitrust investigations against the likes of Apple, Google, and Amazon in recent years. For example, it was Vestager who led the EU’s appeal against a court ruling that overturned its demand that Apple pay 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in tax to the Irish government.

During a debate on the future of internet regulation within the EU, she cautioned that although it would be “doable” to force a breakup of big tech companies under current EU law, it could lead to a range of unintended consequences. Foremost among these, she said, are potentially lengthy court battles between European regulators and the tech companies themselves.

“I don’t think it is something that

Read More

Apple Is Reportedly Creating Its Own Search Engine Amid Google’s Antitrust Woes


Apple is intensifying long-standing efforts to beat Google at its own game by building its own rival search engine technology, the Financial Times report, as U.S. antitrust regulators hone in on the search engine giant for allegedly abusing its dominant market position and deals with other big players like Apple.

Key Facts

In the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 14, Apple bolstered its own search capabilities with little fanfare, the Financial Times reports.

The change went largely unnoticed, and included displaying its own search results and linking to websites directly — rather than through another engine — when users typed queries from their home screens.

While the iPhone’s default search engine — Google, who pay $8-12 billion a year for the privilege in a deal U.S. antitrust regulators are investigating —  remains unchanged, the

Read More