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All eyes were on top US competition regulators Lina Khan and Jonathan Kanter at a recent conference in Berlin, with European officials keen to know how the relatively new heads of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division would manage what appears to be a remarkable overhaul in the US’s regulatory landscape. ML…
 
There’s a lot riding on Meta’s recent attempt to overturn a decision by the UK’s competition watchdog to block the tech giant’s acquisition of Giphy, an online database of gifs — visual aids popular in social-media postings. It’s significant because it’s the Competition and Markets Authority’s first ever prohibition of a Big Tech deal; the case in …
 
Elon Musk’s 44-billion-US-dollar bid for social-media platform Twitter has fired up a conversation about freedom of speech, with the flamboyant Tesla boss saying the platform should be politically neutral to allow conversations to flourish. But why unbridled freedom of expression may resonate in the United States, Musk may yet have to temper his la…
 
MLex brings you a very special edition of the Market Insights podcast. Matthew Newman speaks to Mike Swift about the 2022 IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington DC. They discuss their thoughts on this year’s meeting including the key themes and key data privacy and security stories and trends to keep your eyes on this year.…
 
MLex brings you a very special edition of the Market Insights podcast. Lewis Crofts speaks to Khushita Vasant and Nicholas Hirst about the 2022 ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting. They discuss their thoughts on this year’s meeting including the key take-aways and themes.על ידי MLex Market Insight
 
The collapse of a deal involving two Finnish crane companies — Cargotec and Konecranes — as a result of regulatory obstacles has thrust into the spotlight differences in outlook between the UK and the European Union on mergers and acquisitions. The European Commission had been prepared to wave the deal through — albeit with undertakings from the co…
 
The European Union’s unexpectedly swift review of the $8.5 billion Amazon-Metro Goldwyn Mayer deal was surprising and left merger experts speculating on what it could mean for other deals on the horizon. The European Commission’s reluctance to take a deep dive into a large transaction involving a digital platform with oodles of data at its disposal…
 
With privacy laws now being considered by lawmakers in many of the US’s 50 states, Virginia appears to have become the leading alternative to California — that is, Virginia’s business-friendly privacy laws offering a model in stark contrast with California’s stricter approach to enforcement. Now, the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act is becomin…
 
Following the invasion of Ukraine, an American pair of major providers of global Internet backbone services announced they had discontinued services to Russia, in a move that sparked immediate conjecture that Moscow could splinter off from the Internet. But it’s more complicated than that; what’s more, there are those who believe that the cause of …
 
When the global community announced economic sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, a consensus quickly developed that cryptocurrencies may offer Moscow a way to sidestep the tough measures. Yet despite their seemingly secretive nature, cryptocurrency transactions can be traced and early signs are that they aren’t posing a significa…
 
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t the first war to be chronicled online, but social media and other Internet platforms have played a particularly important role in the conflict. That prominence may now lead to tighter regulatory scrutiny from governments on both sides of the conflict, amid claims and counterclaims about state-back disinformation c…
 
On paper, there’s plenty for privacy advocates to celebrate in Google’s announcement that it will gradually change the access to personal data available to apps on its Android platform. Others may also be encouraged to hear that Google’s approach will be more collaborative and deliberate than Apple’s. Yet the prospect of a tech company that relies …
 
The UK’s competition enforcer’s approach to Big Tech has come to a fork in the road: it can either wait for its Digital Markets Unit to be empowered and operational; or it can pursue the global platforms with the tools already at its disposal. The Competition and Markets Authority may prefer to wait, but with lawmakers unwilling to commit to a time…
 
The Artificial Intelligence Act is still on the EU’s legislative drawing board, but the debate over how the new law will be enforced has already begun. National data-protection authorities say they’re best placed to police the new rules; but some governments in the bloc are already starting to set up designated AI regulators — a move that may hampe…
 
Intel’s 13-year legal battle against a 1.06 billion euro antitrust fine imposed by the European Commission has hit a significant milestone, with an EU court ruling in the chipmaker’s favor. It was a significant defeat for the European regulator, which had argued that Intel’s chip rebates were anticompetitive. But this doesn’t mean that the clash is…
 
Microsoft’s play for Activision Blizzard — the company behind games such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft — could prompt some regulatory soul-searching in the United States. The merging companies say the $68.7 deal will make more games available and lower consumer costs. But the merger is a vertical one and it may tap into the Federal Trade Co…
 
Amazon, Facebook and Google are on a mission: to ensure that the United States Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan and Department of Justice antitrust division head Jonathan Kanter recuse themselves from key decisions affecting the digital platforms. Why? Because, they argue, the two officials’ past work and public utterances mean they’re inca…
 
The collection and storage of biometric data is now occurring on an industrial scale in the United States. However, with no federal privacy rules in place, it has been largely left to the states to develop a data-privacy framework. To date, the states haven’t had much success — but that doesn’t mean that biometric-data regulation is off the agenda …
 
Divestitures are part and parcel of the US regulatory landscape: When a deal raises red flags, the merging companies offer to shed parts of their businesses, in a bid to get the proposal over the line. But who buys those divested assets and businesses? According to an investigation by MLex’s sister publication FTC Watch, black-owned and black-backe…
 
Killer acquisitions are back on the agenda — and it’s disrupting the European Union’s review of an acquisition by Meta, the parent company of Facebook. Germany’s competition regulator has decided to do its own review of this deal, creating a rift with the European Commission, which was well advanced in its own analysis. Why the differences? It’s al…
 
Meta’s acquisition of Giphy, the database of looped videos known as gifs, has run into trouble in the United Kingdom, where the competition authority has demanded that the deal be unwound. It’s a big call — and one likely to have an impact on other jurisdictions where the deal has also raised significant concerns. But what does the acquisition by t…
 
It has been two years since Facebook was accused of illegally copying the world’s largest repository of digitized and realistic three-dimension objects and scenes from a Lithuanian startup. At the time, the allegations appeared highly unlikely — why would a social-media platform need digitized objects? But now that Facebook’s parent company has reb…
 
If you’re a small retailer and you’re unhappy with the fees set by the world’s two credit-card giants, Visa and Mastercard, there’s not much you can do. But when you’re a colossus of online shopping, you might just have enough clout to demand changes. This is the titanic clash unfolding in the UK, where Amazon has taken on Visa and warned that it w…
 
The Biden administration’s appointment of Lina Khan as chair of the US Federal Trade Commission — an advocate of the New Brandeisian school of antitrust — has sparked an unprecedented level of animosity within the agency. One commissioner has described the FTC’s new direction as “appalling and gut-wrenching” — an attack some observers say was unpre…
 
There’s no getting around it: This week’s EU court ruling upholding the European Commission’s 2.42 billion euro antitrust fine against Google is a vindication of the enforcer’s decision to go after the tech giant over online shopping services. The fight may not be over — the decision by the lower-tier court may yet be appealed. But the Commission, …
 
Facebook has undertaken a radical project in rebranding and reframing. The tech company that you have come to know and like — or dislike, as the case may be — will now be known as Meta, although the popular social-media platform will still be called Facebook. But it’s not just about changing the letterhead: Mark Zuckerberg wants to build a company …
 
Both Apple and Google are grappling with mounting antitrust concerns over the way they manage their app stores. In a stunning development, Google has agreed to slash its Play Store commission fee from 30 percent to 15 percent — ending the set-in-stone cut that has become synonymous with doing business with app stores. Meanwhile, Apple is hoping to …
 
Whether you’re looking for a bike, an antique lamp or even a rental property, Facebook’s Marketplace is fast becoming your neighborhood’s go-to e-commerce platform. But in the US, there’s growing concern among businesses that Marketplace is being used to sell counterfeit goods, sparking calls for the US Trade Representative to include Facebook in i…
 
The successful prosecution of UK bank NatWest over money-laundering charges was a watershed moment for the country’s Financial Conduct Authority - the first time such criminal offenses have been successfully deployed. Now, attention is turning to the size of the fine that courts will be willing to impose on the lender. Also on today’s podcast: Euro…
 
New technology is revolutionizing the way we get from A to B. Gone are the gas-guzzling, analog cars of yore; tomorrow’s roads are likely to feature high-tech electric vehicles, pumping data back to manufacturers and pulling up at specially designed service stations to recharge. This new frontier comes with immense regulatory challenges — challenge…
 
Facebook’s finances have never looked better, with the social-media platform posting earnings of $29 billion for the second quarter of 2021. So why is speculation mounting that privacy regulation in the EU and California, as well as new privacy settings for Apple’s iOS operating system, could present a significant challenge to Facebook’s business m…
 
Google’s clash with South Korea’s antitrust enforcer over allegations the search giant engaged in abuse of dominance against smart-device markers in the Android operating-system market isn’t over yet: Google is set to appeal the $176 million fine it received from the Korea Fair Trade Commission. Yet the landmark penalty has set the tone for the reg…
 
Apple may have hoped that its decision to search the contents of its iPhones to identify images of child sexual abuse would have been welcomed. Instead, the prospect of Apple delving into the contents of people’s handsets, and the fear that any backdoor into devices could be widened, sparked a backlash, prompting the tech giant to back away from th…
 
US chipmaker Nvidia’s move to buy Arm, a UK chip designer, for $40 billion is facing regulatory headwinds, with UK competition authority knocking back Nvidia’s proposed legal undertakings. Now, the deal is being considered by the EU’s competition regulator — something that may highlight the fissures between the approach of the EU and UK to managing…
 
A United States review of the combination between Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne is set to continue for months, amid growing questions about whether the Federal Trade Commission is ready to accept behavioral remedies, rather than a structural solution. But there are other regulatory factors at play — including the role of the Department of …
 
Zoom’s offer to pay $85 million to settle privacy litigation over so-called Zoombomings — disruptive and often highly offensive messages that interrupted meetings — has eased litigation risks for the company, which failed to gain protection under the controversial US legal shield protecting websites. If approved by a US federal judge, Zoom subscrib…
 
The UK’s competition watchdog is set to receive a shot in the arm, with the government putting forward proposals that would upgrade the regulator’s enforcement toolkit. If implemented, the changes would hand the Competition and Markets Authority consumer-law powers on par with antitrust enforcement powers, with the ability to fine companies up to 1…
 
In the biggest merger regulatory challenge to hit the US under the Biden Administration, insurance broker Aon announced that it would walk away from its proposed union with Willis Towers Watson. The collapse of the deal amounted to a victory for the US Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland, with Aon concluding that the oppositi…
 
The sudden and unprecedented enforcement action targeting China’s largest ride-hailing company Didi appears to have opened yet another chapter in Beijing’s crackdown on the country’s tech giants. The order for Didi to remove a suite of apps just days after the company’s IPO in the US may have been driven by security and commercial concerns over for…
 
The European Union’s ambitious plan to transform the region’s economy in a bid to combat climate change took a step forward this week, with the announcement of a series of proposals that would help reach ambitious targets to cut the bloc’s carbon emissions. Under the EU’s proposed “Fit for 55” package, which sets a 55 percent emissions cut from 199…
 
The green credentials of nuclear power have come under recent scrutiny in the European Union, as the bloc ponders whether to label as environmentally friendly investment in the industry. The argument of what’s referred to as the taxonomy of nuclear energy is pitting scientist against scientist and, more importantly, the pro-nuclear energy France ag…
 
Digital advertising is back on the agenda in Europe, with the announcement of a fresh EU antitrust probe targeting Google’s practice of hoovering up data to better target advertising. However, the new investigation will also leave room for parallel action by regulators in Germany and France, with the European Commission skirting around the national…
 
A central part of the EU’s ambitious privacy legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, was put to the test recently, with a European court asked to rule on whether Belgium’s data-privacy regulator had the right to pursue an investigation into Facebook. The question went to the heart of a central mechanism of the GDPR: the so-cal…
 
The next time you ask Alexa for information or bark out an order at Siri — or even just order a burger at your McDonald’s drive through — you’ll find yourself at the heart of what could become one of the most significant regulatory challenges of the next decade. Whether it’s your fingerprints, the retina or your eyes or the sound of your voice, you…
 
The global push for registries revealing what people and interests lie behind even the most obscure of shell companies is gaining momentum, with a UN special session prompting a renewal of commitment to establishing ownership databases. But while the mounting interest in the registries is being welcomed, the models being embraced by key players in …
 
This week’s failure by Australian prosecutors to secure a conviction in the first criminal-cartel trial in over 100 years spells trouble for the country’s competition enforcer, which investigated the case. The Country Care prosecution has been widely regarded as a dry run for next year’s criminal-cartel trial targeting some of the world’s largest a…
 
Fish for finance” may sound like a trendy eatery in London’s West End, but it is simply the latest round of post-Brexit animosity between the United Kingdom and the European Union over access to each other’s markets. The case has attracted some public attention — in no small part as a result of London’s decision to send navy ships to protect its te…
 
The legal clash between Epic, the maker of the popular videogame Fortnite, and tech company Apple has prompted some unusual exchanges in a US court, with senior company executives questioned over their anatomical understanding of a tuxedoed, anthropomorphic banana called Agent Peely. It’s all part of Epic’s antitrust lawsuit over Apple’s management…
 
Like a good murder novel, the demise of ABLV Bank of Latvia has left us with a chalk silhouette on the sidewalk, but with little clarity about who committed the crime. Now, the demise of the bank in the wake of a money-laundering scandal has left out-of-pocket investors determined to crack open the European Union’s byzantine financial-services over…
 
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