Google Comes Under Fire Abroad as U.S. Prepares Antitrust Case

(Bloomberg) — Google is confronting a growing backlash against its market power in international markets, compounding the company’s regulatory challenges as it girds for an historic antitrust suit from the U.S. Justice Dept.

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In just a matter of weeks, the search giant’s business practices have drawn scrutiny in Australia, South Korea and India. The European Union’s antitrust chief has already threatened to break up Google if it won’t change its ways, while the company pulled out of China a decade ago because of government censorship.

India is a prime example of how Google’s troubles could undercut future growth. More than 200 startup founders have banded together and opened discussions with the government to stop the Alphabet Inc. unit from imposing a 30% fee on smartphone app purchases, its standard levy around the world. While Google delayed implementation for six months after an outcry last week, the country’s tech

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The case against Amazon: Key takeaways from the U.S. House antitrust report on digital markets

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and the report this week from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee. (GeekWire Photo Illustration)

Coming in at 451 pages, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee antitrust subcommittee’s report this week on competition in digital markets is a comprehensive summary of the ways in which Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon capitalize on and allegedly abuse their market power to benefit themselves.

Amazon is mentioned by name 1,866 times in the report, almost twice as many times as Facebook, and second only to Google at 1,964 mentions.

The report dedicates an 83-page section to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, informed by internal company emails, extensive market research, interviews with third-party retailers, submissions from industry groups, and testimony including the widely followed hearing this summer with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and others.

PREVIOUSLY: Antitrust report says Amazon has ‘monopoly power’ over sellers, company slams ‘fringe’ findings

But if you’re

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Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed

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Amazon antitrust findings; Satya Nadella’s WFH tips; Mysterious $60B woman

Here’s what we’re talking about on the GeekWire Podcast this week:



a drawing of a face: GeekWire Podcast: Amazon antitrust findings; Satya Nadella’s WFH tips; Mysterious $60B woman


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GeekWire Podcast: Amazon antitrust findings; Satya Nadella’s WFH tips; Mysterious $60B woman

A long-awaited report from a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee landed this week, and it slammed Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple for their alleged monopolistic practices in the online marketplaces they operate. Amazon responded with a scathing blog post that said the report featured “flawed thinking.”

Lots of tech people are working from home due to the pandemic, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has some tips on how to do it and maintain your health and well-being. Schedule some short meetings, he says, and don’t forget your transition times.

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A new story from the Medium business publication Marker paints an extraordinary portrait of the life of one of the richest women in the world, MacKenzie Scott, which is all the more

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South Korea launches antitrust probe into Google

South Korea has launched an antitrust probe into Google over its plan to enforce its 30-percent Play Store commission by disallowing any apps circumventing its payment system, a top official said Thursday.

Google has always required apps offered on the Play Store’s virtual shelves to use its payment system, which takes an industry-standard 30 percent cut — the same as Apple does.

The company has been lax about enforcing the rule, however, unlike Apple — which is currently involved in a legal battle with the owners of the Fortnite game series after banning the app when developers allowed users to circumvent the payment system.

The internet giant said last month the new policy — set to take effect next year — applies to fewer than three percent of developers with apps in the Play Store.

But the announcement prompted a backlash from South Korean app developers, who say the new

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U.S. House Antitrust Chairman Calls Unwinding Facebook’s Instagram Buy ‘The Right Answer’ | Technology News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative David Cicilline, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, said on Wednesday he would be “comfortable with unwinding” Facebook Inc’s acquisition of Instagram.

The antitrust subcommittee on Tuesday released a report on Big Tech’s abuses of market power but stopped short of naming specific companies or acquisitions that must be broken up.

Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, told Reuters in an interview that Facebook should not have been allowed to buy Instagram, a deal that the Federal Trade Commission approved in 2012.

“I would be comfortable with unwinding that. I think that’s the right answer,” he said.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has said previously that Instagram was insignificant at the time it was purchased and that Facebook built it into the success it has become.

Any effort to unwind the deal would entail the government

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House anti-trust chair says breaking up Facebook-Instagram would be right move

Following the 349-page report by the U.S. House of Representatives’ subcommittee on anti-trust, released yesterday afternoon, the chair of the committee, Democratic rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, on Wednesday said he thinks it would be a good idea ot separate Instagram from Facebook, according to Reuters. 

Cicilline told Reuters in an interview today that “Facebook should not have been allowed to buy Instagram,” according to the account by Reuters staff. 

 “I would be comfortable with unwinding that. I think that’s the right answer,” Cicilline told the news service, referring to Facebook’s purchase of Instagram for $737 million in 2012.

In the report issued Tuesday, Cicilline and staff said that buying Instagram was part of Facebook’s removal of competition in the social networking market. Facebook has become so dominant that the only real competition is between Facebook and its own properties, including Instagram, said the committee.

“Facebook has tipped the

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Big Tech stocks are buys on any negative antitrust news, Jim Cramer says

Big Tech stocks barely flinched one day after members of Congress recommended parts of their underlying companies be broken up, but investors should be ready to buy if the stocks dip in the future, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday.

“The time these Big Tech stocks get hit by some bad headlines from the House Judiciary Committee is the time you have to buy them,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Regardless of who wins the White House next month, they’re not gonna roll back 40 years of antitrust.”

The comments come on the heels of a Democratic congressional staff report out Tuesday that called for updates to the nation’s antitrust laws and to shake up operations of the largest U.S. technology corporations. The report charges Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet subsidiary Google with having monopoly power.

Facebook was the only one of the three stocks to fall in Wednesday’s session, slipping

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Big tech responds to antitrust report

The major tech platforms push back against the House antitrust report, Google Assistant gets a “guest” mode and we interview a freshly minted Nobel laureate. This is your Daily Crunch for October 7, 2020.

The big story: Big tech responds to antitrust report

The House Judiciary Committee released its tech antitrust report late yesterday, concluding that the big tech platforms should face additional regulation. Recommendations include creating new separations to prevent dominant platforms from operating in adjacent lines of business, new requirements for interoperability and data portability and increased restrictions on mergers and acquisitions.

For now, these are just recommendations — and they weren’t endorsed by the committee’s Republican minority. But they have prompted forceful responses from four of the companies targeted by the report: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Amazon, for example, dismissed the committee’s views as “fringe notions” and “regulatory spitballing,” while Apple said it “vehemently” disagrees with

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20 years after Microsoft’s antitrust fight, Steve Ballmer betting that Big Tech won’t be broken up

Steve Ballmer. (GeekWire File Photo / Dan DeLong)

Twenty years after Microsoft waged its own antitrust battle with the U.S. government, former CEO Steve Ballmer is betting that Congress won’t break up Big Tech this time around.

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday (below), Ballmer was reacting to a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee report released this week that found challenges presented by the dominance and business practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

RELATED: House antitrust probe says Amazon has ‘monopoly power’ over sellers, company slams ‘fringe’ findings

“I’ll bet money that they will not be broken up,” Ballmer told CNBC.

The 450-page report from the subcommittee’s Democratic leaders concludes a 16-month investigation into the four companies as the operators of major online markets. It finds that the market power of the tech giants “has diminished consumer choice, eroded innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy, weakened the vibrancy

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