Antitrust Investigations

Regional News • Americas • United States
U.S. states are investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plan to sue it next week
U.S. states are investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plan to sue it next week
Credit: unsplash.com / Greg Bulla

A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week, four sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Technology • Internet & Web
Brussels accuses Amazon of violating antitrust laws by illegally using company data
Brussels accuses Amazon of violating antitrust laws by illegally using company data
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager announced that the Competition Department has opened a new investigation against the US company for commercial practices linked to its premium programmed which could constitute an abuse of its dominant market position. "We have come to the preliminary conclusion that Amazon has illegally abused its dominant position as a market service provider in Germany and France by using confidential data on a large scale to compete with smaller retailers."

As a service provider, the Seattle-based company has access to the private business data of its vendors, their volume of visits, sales and shipments, and even the complaints they receive from customers.

Technology • Internet & Web
Italian Competition Authority opens investigation against Google
Italian Competition Authority opens investigation against Google
Credit: Courtesy of Philipp Klöckner

The Italian Competition Authority has opened an investigation against Google, questioning the discriminatory use of the huge amount of data collected through its various applications, allegedly preventing rivals from competing effectively as well as adversely affecting consumers.

In addition, Google has allegedly used their technology to achieve a targeting capability that some equally efficient competitors are unable to replicate by using tracking elements enabling its advertising intermediation services.

Business • Economy
U.S. sues Google for alleged abuse of market position
U.S. sues Google for alleged abuse of market position
Credit: unsplash.com / Paweł Czerwiński

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday filed an antitrust suit against Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, in which it accuses of violating the law by abusing its dominant market position over its competitors. This is the most important legal offensive against a technological giant in at least two decades, and represents the culmination of a year-long investigation that concludes that the company took advantage of its dominant position in the search and advertising market to the detriment of competitors and consumers.

Technology • Games
Apple ordered not to block Epic's Unreal Engine, but Fortnite still banned from App Store
Fortnite
Fortnite Credit: Epic Games

US District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ruled that Apple cannot terminate Epic Games' developer accounts or compromise its Unreal Engine. The App Store ban of Fortnite will not be lifted by the court until a full hearing can take place on September 28.

The judge claimed that Apple had "chosen to act severely" by threatening to block the Unreal Engine, which is widely used by others. "Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders," she said.

Regarding Fortnite, the judge stated Epic had "strategically chosen to breach its agreements with Apple.", ruling against Epic Games request to have Fortnite back to the App Store.

Technology • Games
Apple threatens to terminate all Epic’s developer account over Fortnite App Store protest
Epic Games parody of the iconic Apple's "1984" ad
Epic Games parody of the iconic Apple's "1984" ad Credit: Epic Games (Reproduction)

Epic tweeted on Monday that Apple has threatened to cut off its access to all Apple developer tools, for iOS and Mac. The developer said Apple would terminate all of its development tools accesses on August 28.

Epic has filed for a preliminary injunction against Apple, saying the company will be "irreparably harmed long before final judgment comes" if it does not obtain the injunction. Epic also asked for Fortnite — with its lowered prices and alternate payment option — to be returned to the App Store.

Technology • Internet & Web
Telegram files EU antitrust complaint against Apple’s App Store
Telegram files EU antitrust complaint against Apple’s App Store
Credit: Yuri Samoilov (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Telegram, the messaging app, filed a formal antitrust complaint to the EU over Apple’s App Store. The company joins Spotify and Rakuten in complaining the app store represents a monopoly power, given that developers have to accept Apple’s terms, including a 30 per cent commission on in-app purchases.

In its complaint, Telegram took issue with Apple’s argument that the App Store commission keeps it running. Pavel Durov, Telegram founder, stated "Every quarter, Apple receives billions of dollars from third-party apps. Meanwhile, the expenses required to host and review these apps are in the tens of millions, not billions of dollars. We know that because we at Telegram host and review more public content than the App Store ever will".

Regional News • Americas • United States
US House Antitrust Subcommittee will question tech CEOs over dominance of online platform
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The chief executives Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Facebook) and Sundar Pichai (Google) will be questioned today by the United States House Antitrust Subcommittee that currently investigates the into market dominance of online platforms.

Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the subcommittee has stated that "these platforms have been allowed to run wild and free from really any constraints" adding that the committee has to clarify "what the impacts are of the lack of competition in the digital marketplace".