Biden Vacancies Delay Big Tech Reckoning

President Biden still hasn’t named permanent leaders at the key agencies overseeing the tech and telecom industries, giving him a late start on confronting powerful U.S. companies. If Biden doesn’t move quickly, there won’t be enough time left for his administration to take on big targets and tackle thorny policy problems.


Collins | Is The Antitrust Free Ride Over For Big Tech?

Facebook and Google lead the media industry as companies being most heavily targeted by the FTC, Congress and even the Biden Administration. The central question at the heart of scores of lawsuits files in the past year:  Have companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft become too powerful, and do they exercise anticompetitive practices?

House Committee OKs Big Tech Antitrust Blueprint

The House Judiciary Committee lhas formally approved a report on monopoly power in digital marketplaces. The over 400-page document depicting ways that Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook allegedly abuse their market power was approved on a 24-17 party-line vote.


Big Tech’s Big D.C. Threat: The FTC

While antitrust lawsuits and Capitol Hill hearings get headlines, Big Tech’s biggest threat in Washington may come from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is gearing up to flex its muscle, by both enforcing current rules and trying to draft new ones. And it may be able do so relatively quickly.


TVN Executive Session | NAB Prioritizes Antitrust Exemption, Relaxed Ownership Rules

NAB President Gordon Smith says the organization is shifting into offense with the new Democrat-led FCC, pairing with newspaper publishers for an antitrust exemption in dealing with Big Tech along with pressing for a relaxation of antiquated TV ownership rules. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

Microsoft Takes Aim At Google As It Supports Bill To Give News Publishers More Leverage Over Big Tech

Lawmakers on Friday debated an antitrust bill that would give news publishers collective bargaining power with online platforms like Facebook and Google, putting the spotlight on a proposal aimed at chipping away at the power of Big Tech. At a hearing held by the House antitrust subcommittee, Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, emerged as a leading industry voice in favor of the law. He took a divergent path from his tech counterparts, pointing to an imbalance in power between publishers and tech platforms.

Merrick Garland Pledges Strong Antitrust Enforcement

Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland said Monday that he will be a strong enforcer of antitrust law as “the charter of American economic liberty” and expects to need more resources to do so. He was testifying at his Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing.

House To Hold Multiple Big Tech Antitrust Hearings

The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee plans to hold a series of hearings on proposed bills to rein in “the rise and abuse of market power online” and adjust antitrust laws accordingly. Both Republicans and Democrats have concerns that antitrust laws were not nimble enough to capture Web giants’ efforts to buy start-up competitors before they became full-fledged competition and, importantly for antitrust law, before they triggered Hart Scott Rodino automatic antitrust reviews.

Klobuchar Bill Would Raise Bar For Tech Deals

The incoming head of the Senate antitrust subcommittee favors broad changes as Democrats press the issue of perceived monopoly power.

Paper Sues Google, Facebook Over Online Ads

“There is no longer a competitive market in which newspapers can fairly compete for online advertising revenue,” the owner of The Charleston Gazette-Mail and other West Virginia news publications said in a lawsuit in federal court on Friday. It accuses the companies of profiting from “anticompetitive and monopolistic practices” that have damaged the newspaper business.

Facebook Declares War On Apple

The social media company joins the antitrust effort against the iPhone maker, claiming that changes to the iOS that block targeted advertising that Facebook specializes in is an assault on small businesses.

States, Feds Expected To File Antitrust Lawsuits Against Facebook

The filings from more than 40 attorneys general and the U.S. government will allege the tech giant engaged in unlawful tactics to buy or kill off its rivals and solidify its dominance in social networking.

Complication Tangles FTC Move To Sue Facebook

A looming vacancy on the Federal Trade Commission has created a dilemma for the agency as it decides how to pursue its expected antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, contributing to a delay in the launch of the case, three people familiar with the discussions said. While the five commissioners had been expected to file the suit by the end of this month, the agency’s commissioners are now grappling with the prospect that Republican Chairman Joseph Simons’ likely departure before the next administration could lead to 2-2 splits in future votes.

DOJ Investigating Penske Media’s Purchase Of The Hollywood Reporter

FTC Discusses Potential Facebook Antitrust Case

The Federal Trade Commission’s staff have made a recommendation to the agency’s commissioners on whether to file an antitrust complaint against Facebook, three people familiar with the agency’s probe said Thursday — a potential new milestone in Washington’s fight to rein in Silicon Valley. The FTC’s five commissioners met to discuss a potential case Thursday afternoon, though a final decision isn’t expected for several weeks.

FTC, DOJ Propose Changes To Antitrust Reviews

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are seeking comment on a couple of proposed changes to the automatic Hart Scott Rodino (HSR) antitrust reviews, which are required of large mergers (ones valued at at least $94 million). The FTC and DOJ divide up antitrust reviews, with DOJ generally handling the media merger reviews.

The 5 Biggest Little Lies Tech CEOs Told Congress

No, Google, we’re not really in control of our data. And yes, Facebook, you profit from harmful information.

Tech Hearing Suggests Antitrust Crackdown Could Come Soon

Analysis: heated exchanges raise concern over anticompetitive behavior as chair warns of companies’ “monopoly power.”

Why The Tech Giants May Suffer Lasting Pain From Their Hill Lashing

Lawmakers investigating Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple made it clear that their allegations of antitrust abuses come with a lengthy paper trail.

House Batters Tech CEOs, Don’t Land Many Blows

Invective flew Wednesday as legislators questioned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. For the last year, that panel has probed the business practices of the Silicon Valley giants with an eye to determining if they need to be regulated more heavily, or even broken up.

Congress Delays Tech Antitrust Hearing

Congress will have to wait a little longer to grill Mark Zuckerberg and other top tech CEOs about their companies’ apparent market dominance. Originally scheduled for Monday, the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee has decided to postpone the hearing so that members of Congress can recognize the memory of Rep. John Lewis who is lying in state at the U.S. Capitol from Monday through Wednesday.

How May Google Fight An Antitrust Case? Look At This Little-Noticed Paper

O’Rielly Has Issues With DOJ’s Media View

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday that there continues to be a disconnect between the Department of Justice’s approach to antitrust and the realities of the competitive video marketplace.

Top Antitrust Dem Proposes Merger Ban

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, on Thursday proposed a ban on most merger activity amid the coronavirus pandemic. “As millions of businesses struggle to stay afloat, private equity firms and dominant corporations are positioned to swoop in for a buying spree,” the Rhode Island lawmaker said during a teleconferenced speech at an event held by the Open Markets Institute

Comcast Faces Trial Over Local Ad Sales

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals revives an antitrust case against the cable TV giant while rejecting a test proposed by the Justice Department about when it’s improper for companies to refuse to sell to rivals.

Trump’s Enforcer: Meet Makan Delrahim

As showbiz scales up to battle Big Tech, Makan Delrahim, the nation’s top antitrust regulator (and a former movie producer), is becoming as influential as any mogul over Netflix, megamergers, the Writers Guild and maybe the entire future of the entertainment business.

FTC Launches Inquiry Into Big Tech Deals

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a lookback at some of the smaller past acquisitions by some of the largest tech companies. The FTC said Tuesday it has issued “special orders” to Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which require them to provide info on all acquisitions over the past decade (Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2019).

Antitrust Chief Recuses From Google Inquiry

Makan Delrahim, the Justice Department’s head of antitrust, removed himself from examining the search giant over a conflict of interest, people with knowledge of the situation say.

Streaming Antitrust Battle Brewing

U.S. regulators are being urged to look beyond Google and Facebook to review how Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others are leveraging consumer habits as a competitive weapon in the digital entertainment war.

FTC Weighs Seeking Injunction Against Facebook

Federal officials are considering seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook over antitrust concerns related to how its products interact, according to people familiar with the matter. A majority of the five-member FTC would be needed to seek an injunction, which the commission would need to file suit in federal court to obtain.

DOJ To ‘Terminate’ Paramount Consent Decrees

DOJ Tech Scrutiny Could Stretch Beyond Antitrust

High-ranking antitrust enforcers, speaking at an influential D.C. legal forum, zeroed in on big tech companies’ potential for anticompetitive behavior but also signaled they may take a broader approach to policing the industry.

DOJ: Current Laws Can Handle Tech Monopolies

U.S. Justice Department antitrust chief Makan Delrahim says that existent U.S. antitrust laws are “flexible enough” to address harm caused by technology companies, in the face of growing criticism that such laws cannot tackle tech monopolies.

States Launch Facebook Antitrust Investigation

The investigation by a coalition of 47 state attroneys general focuses on whether Facebook’s dominance in the industry may have led to anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers.

DOJ To Open Facebook Antitrust Investigation

The Justice Department will open an antitrust investigation of Facebook, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, marking the fourth recent antitrust probe of the social media company.

Delrahim: Big Tech Antitrust Probe A ‘Priority’

The Justice Department’s antitrust division chief, Makan Delrahim, said Tuesday that its probes of “market-leading online platforms” such as Alphabet’s Google were a “priority” that could result in either “law enforcement or policy options as solutions.”

Big Tech Faces New Antitrust Battlefield

Following years of federal inaction, the nation’s state attorneys general are initiating sweeping antitrust investigations against Silicon Valley’s largest Big Tech companies, probing whether they undermine rivals and harm consumers. Their latest salvo arrives today, when more than 40 attorneys general are expected to announce their plan to investigate Google, delivering a rare rebuke of the search-and-advertising giant — and its efforts to maintain that dominance — from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

State AGs Investigating Facebook

A healthy handful of states is investigating Facebook over antitrust issues. New York Attorney General Letitia James today confirmed that she is heading up a “bipartisan coalition” of state AGs — nine in all so far — looking into the company to see whether it has used its social media dominance anticompetitively.

Justice Names New Top Merger Litigator

DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim has named section chief Kathy O’Neill to a new post as senior director of investigations and litigation. As such she will be the most senior civil antitrust attorney. Most recently, she had been chief of the Antitrust Division’s transportation, energy and agriculture section.

Justice Opens Antitrust Review Of Big Tech

The Justice Department said it will investigate how internet giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google have accumulated market power and whether they have acted to reduce competition. Similar inquiries are underway in Congress and at the Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust oversight responsibilities with the DOJ.