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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…
 
The acquittal of two Serco executives who had been facing fraud charges in the UK amounts to a serious blow for the Serious Fraud Office. The enforcer has been struggling to secure the conviction of individuals, even when it has succeeded in demanding fines and admissions of guilt from the companies that employ those charged. Meanwhile, anyone acce…
 
China has demonstrated to some of the country’s largest technology players that antitrust oversight isn’t limited to the State Administration for Market Regulation — the top competition enforcer. Recent events in the country show that, when needed, all regulatory agencies are prepared to pitch in. Also on today’s podcast: the Petroecuador bribery s…
 
The joint statement by the antitrust regulators of Australia, Germany and the UK this week was a chance for antitrust officials to call for sharper tools to manage mergers and acquisitions — with particular regard to fast-moving digital markets. The regulators also warned that behavioral remedies of the type put forward by Google to get its acquisi…
 
On March 30, the US Federal Trade Commission challenged Illumina’s proposed acquisition of cancer diagnostic startup Grail, arguing that Illumina would have both the incentive and the ability to disadvantage Grail’s competitors by denying them access to its essential, next-generation sequencing technology. The deal has tapped into global regulatory…
 
Google’s United States Supreme Court copyright win against Oracle over the development of the Android operating system was a huge development, with the case spending the past 10 years bouncing around courts in the US. The ruling is significant because it may shed some light on how tech developers can add value to existing coding. Also on the podcas…
 
Australia’s world-first antitrust review of Facebook and Google’s business models has spawned a new generation of regulation and enforcement, with the country’s competition watchdog using consumer lawsuits, market inquiries and merger reviews to create one of the western world’s most assertive regulatory regimes. But as a recent MLex Special Report…
 
Expert witnesses that struggle to converse in a way that is accessible to both judges and juries and who can’t write a report that doesn’t run into thousands of pages may be doing more harm than good to the antitrust case they are supporting. According to a judge who spoke at a recent American Bar Association antitrust conference, the quality of an…
 
It has happened: The California Privacy Protection Agency has become the first standalone privacy enforcer to be established in the United States. California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of five people to the board of the new agency has focused public attention on the CPPA’s role; it has also raised the prospect of other states following Cal…
 
Although Democrats now have a majority in both houses of the US Congress, the Biden administration may still struggle to have its ambitious plans for an antitrust revamp adopted. Meanwhile, the EU is preparing a legal battle with the UK over one of the most controversial aspects of Brexit: the trade status of Northern Ireland.…
 
If enacted, the European Union’s Digital Markets Act will significantly curb the power of Google, Facebook, Amazon.com and Apple. The legislation is now percolating through the EU’s labyrinthine lawmaking processes and, although widely supported, fault-lines are emerging over how rigorous the law should be, and how much in-built flexibility it requ…
 
The rollercoaster ride that shares of GameStop went on earlier this year had little to do with the value of the US videogame and electronics retailer and more to do with a “short squeeze” — a buying frenzy designed to hurt those who had bet on the share value going down. The unusual move was orchestrated by members of a Reddit community and led to …
 
A long-term, successful North Korean hacking heist targeting banks around the world has sparked a conversation about financial institutions’ readiness to take on cyberattacks. The hackers’ ability to make away with the loot and launder large sums has also raised questions about how lax practices have played into the hands of criminals. Meanwhile, i…
 
Facebook users in Australia will no longer have access to news in their news feed. In a dramatic turn of events this week, the US-based tech giant decided that Australia’s new mandatory code of conduct forcing platforms to pay for news content meant including media content was no longer viable. If the move was attempt to force the government to bac…
 
The growing interest in financial services on the part of tech giants including Amazon.com, Facebook and Alibaba is likely to shake up an industry long dominated by a handful of large lenders. But Big Tech’s decision to massage its data ascendency into a new banking business model has also raised questions about whether the new players have been ab…
 
A landmark antitrust lawsuit targeting Google over its management of digital advertising services is underway in a Texas court, with a preliminary hearing this week focusing on how the 10 US states behind the legal action, as well as Google itself, will safeguard evidence. The debate was more than academic: selected members of the news media have r…
 
The underrepresentation of African Americans in the two US departments that cover antitrust is stark. Only 2.85 percent of the lawyers in the Department of Justice’s antitrust division are African American; and only 4.1 percent of the lawyers in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition are Black. And when it comes to senior management l…
 
To mark Data Privacy Day, this special-edition MLex podcast examines the year that was and glances ahead at what lies in store for privacy regulation and enforcement. Mike Swift will chat about the impact of new data-privacy enforcement agencies around the world, the controversial collapse of the Privacy Shield allowing trans-Atlantic data transfer…
 
Users of the popular messaging service WhatsApp may have noticed a recent privacy-policy update from the Facebook-owned company. But how many of those users would have read and understood the 4,000-word document in full? Not many — something that is concerning regulators around the globe. Even though the company argues that the updates themselves a…
 
It has been a dramatic start to 2021: Insurgents storming the US Capitol and digital giants agreeing to de-platform the leader of the free world. Yet the discussion over the fate of the much-maligned Section 230, which offers platforms legal protection, is being hampered by a lack of clarity over what the rules actually achieve. Meanwhile, South Ko…
 
It’s high noon in Texas, where a posse of state attorneys general have filed one of two, multistate complaints against search and advertising giant Google. The first was submitted by Texas and nine other states alleging antitrust violations in Google’s display ads business; a second filed in Washington DC by 38 attorneys general focuses on Google’s…
 
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זכויות יוצרים 2021 | מפת אתר | מדיניות פרטיות | תנאי השירות
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