Items tagged with antitrust

Google parent company Alphabet has confirmed that it is under investigation by the United States Department of Justice. Specifically, the DOJ suspects Alphabet of antitrust practices, and is demanding all information and documents related to prior antitrust investigations involving the company around the globe. While the DOJ stated that it was just beginning to investigate major tech companies back in July 2019, we now know the department's efforts have kicked into high gear. Alphabet and Google aren't the only major tech companies under the crosshair right now. Apple, Facebook, and Amazon are all known to be under investigation as well, and we wouldn't be surprised if other platforms... Read more...
Facebook recently revealed that it is working on cross-platform messaging between its three social media apps. Although the software rewrite is still in its infancy, it was immediately met with criticism and apprehension. Facebook’s intention of merging their messaging services has spurred concerns about privacy and calls for antitrust regulation. The New York Times reported last week that Facebook was developing software that would merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. The apps would remain separate, but their messaging services would be interoperable. Facebook’s goal is to increase user engagement and discourage users from turning to other messaging platforms. The software... Read more...
Price fixing in the DRAM market is nothing new unfortunately. As recently as January this year, a Chinese regulator accused Samsung other chip manufacturers of artificially increasing prices to pad their margins. Samsung is also no stranger to price fixing, as a $300 million judgement against it and Hynix was handed down in 2006 here in the United States. Today, however, Samsung and other DRAM manufacturers are facing another legal fight in the U.S., and it comes courtesy of the law firm Hagens Berman. A class action lawsuit was filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and alleges that Samsung, Micron and Hynix conspired to artificially limit... Read more...
The United States Department of Justice is about to go on a trust-busting escapade. The Justice Department is investigating whether AT&T, Verizon, and the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) collectively prevented consumers from switching carriers on devices with eSIM. The three organizations reportedly received requests for information from the Justice Department. The investigation centers around whether AT&T and Verizon worked with GSMA to lock devices to their networks. An unnamed device maker and wireless carrier reported the potential collusion to the Justice Department five months ago. Many believe that one of the complainants was Apple, but the company has declined to... Read more...
Qualcomm has been hit with a hefty NT$23.4 billion (around $773 million in US currency) imposed by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission over violations to Taiwanese competition law, and specifically over licensing fees on mobile phone processors and patents that it collected over the past 7 years. Naturally the semiconductor manufacturer disagrees with the agency's finding and subsequent fine, and plans to appeal the decision. The fine is the most ever imposed by the Taiwanese regulator. In a released posted to the agency's website, Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission said Qualcomm abused its position in the mobile chip market by outright refusing to sell chips and license technologies to companies that... Read more...
Google just cannot seem to catch a break from European regulators. Fresh off being hit with a record-setting €2.42 billion fine (around $2.7 billion in U.S. currency) for favoring its own shopping search engine in search results over third-party comparison shopping tools, antitrust regulators in the European Union are now considering slapping Google with a subsequent penalty over its Android mobile operating system. Back in April of last year, the European Commission determined that Google was using its dominant Android platform to gain an unfair competitive edge against rivals. An initial team of investigators looked into things after receiving a joint complaint filed by lobby group FairSearch,... Read more...
When the European Union comes at technology firms for perceived antitrust violations, it comes at them hard. Such is the case yet again, this time with the European Commission issuing a record-breaking fine of €2.42 billion (around $2.7 billion in U.S. currency) to Google for running afoul of antitrust law. The fine is more than double the previous largest penalty issued for an antitrust violation. Following a seven-year investigation, the EU determined that Google abused its dominant market position to promote its own comparison shopping results while actively suppressing the competition. Should the decision be upheld pending an inevitable appeal, it would force Google to rethink how it presents... Read more...
The Google/European Union saga continues and could potentially lead to heavy consequences for Google. The corporation could face fines above €1 billion, with some estimating a fine as high as $1.4 billion USD. Google could also be forced to change how it manages its services and operations in the EU. The EU currently has three cases against Google, which will all be resolved separately. This particular case insists that Google diverted traffic from competitors to its own shopping sites. The company is said to have used its online search to lead users to its own other services like restaurant recommendations or maps. Google has also been accused of paying smartphone OEMs to exclusively pre-install... Read more...
The pieces to the puzzle are starting to come together. Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hit Qualcomm with a lawsuit concerning anticompetitive practices with its licensing. The FTC specifically called out Qualcomm’s actions towards Apple, writing, “Qualcomm recognized that any competitor that won Apple’s business would become stronger, and used exclusivity to prevent Apple from working with and improving the effectiveness of Qualcomm’s competitors.” The lawsuit from the FTC followed similar actions taken by governments in Asia and Europe. On Friday, Apple launched the latest salvo against Qualcomm filing its own lawsuit against, alleging that the company is "charging royalties... Read more...
Google does not plan on going down without a fight in its battle against the European Union (EU). Google has formally rebuffed the EU’s antitrust charges in a blog post entitled “Improving Quality Isn’t Anti-Competitive”. Google has been accused of exclusively promoting its own shopping services to edge out its competition. The company could potentially be fined between $3.4 billion and $7.4 billion. This would amount to roughly one tenth of Google’s revenue. Google's general counsel Kent Walker has stated that these accusations are not only untrue, but illogical. He argued, “The Commission’s original SO drew such a narrow definition around online shopping services that it even excluded services... Read more...
If Google had been hoping that the European Union would back off on its pursuit of proving that it's anti-competitive, it appears that the company hasn't been hoping hard enough. Today, the EU shot another set of charges at Google for anti-competitive practices, this time squarely targeting its AdSense for Search platform. Previous antitrust charges against Google have involved Android, search, and shopping, with this third set expanding on the latter two. Anyone who's ever browsed the internet will have likely passed by an AdSense advertisement, as they're simply everywhere. We reinforce Google case on search/shopping comparison with new, strong evidence and send statement of objections t Google... Read more...
As huge as Google is, it's sometimes easy to think of it as being invincible. The American company seemingly gets away with whatever it wants simply because it dominates its competition. But, the European Union has time and time again proven that Google is not invincible, and in fact, it could now be facing the EU's largest penalty to date. Where we stand today is with a mammoth price tag on Google's head. As it appears right now, this is not a fight Google is going to win (easily), and if it's found guilty, it's going to owe on a fine reaching at least €3 billion ($3.4 billion USD). If the maximum charge is sought, that number could jump to €6.6 billion - a number The Telegraph mentions... Read more...
When Google's Android OS began overtaking every other mobile OS in terms of marketshare, it seemed obvious that at some point, the company would be catching a bit of flak for it. In fact, it seemed inevitable that the EU would have something to say about it, as it's traditionally been strict amount companies that dominate a particular segment of the tech market. Look no further than Microsoft with Windows; the company now has to produce a special edition of the OS in order to appease the EU. Well, the EU does in fact have a beef with Google's dominance, especially where Android is concerned. Last week, a second set of antitrust charges were flung at Google, involving both the search function... Read more...
Google is once again taking heat from the Federal Trade Commission, according to Bloomberg. The FTC is apparently in the very early stages of determining whether Google’s handling of its Android mobile phone operating system violated antitrust laws. With both Google and the FTC offering no official information about the possible investigation, it’s not clear yet how seriously the FTC is taking the matter. The heart of the problem this time appears to involve the services Google offers on Android. Some companies that provide related service appear to have complained that Android restricts them in ways that it doesn’t restrict Google’s own products. So far, it’s unclear which businesses have brought... Read more...
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