Articles about Antitrust

Have some sympathy for the AT&T devil

Analysis When the first fixed-line phone systems were installed, you paid for everything, but particularly for each minute of each call. Later they had broadband added to the copper and a flat rate began to become the order of the day. As phone calls went to IP, the same applied to calls for the most part. While there are upper limits …
Faultline, 25 Nov 2016
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Microsoft promises 'equal access' to LinkedIn to get EC green light for acquisition

Microsoft is offering to crack open access to LinkedIn to secure European Commission approval for its $26bn purchase of the social network for suits. The software giant is reportedly offering competition regulators the continued prospect of open access to LinkedIn’s APIs as well as “allowing” OEMs to install LinkedIn on their …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Nov 2016
Road Closed sign

Qualcomm asks for US ban on 'infringing' smartmobes

Qualcomm's trade troubles have taken a new twist, with the company launching a trade complaint to get some Chinese vendors banned from the USA. In an action filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the chip company takes issue with two companies operating under smartphone maker Zhuhai Meizu's banner, along with …

Microsoft sweet-talks EC antitrust bods over LinkedIn buy

Microsoft has offered "concessions" in return for letting its $26bn dollar acquisition of LinkedIn move ahead, according to officials from the European Commission. The officials refused to provide any further details over what those concessions were, however. The Commission is expected to decide whether to let the purchase of …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Nov 2016
Bear

Russia shoves antitrust probe into Microsoft after Kaspersky gripes about Windows 10

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is investigating whether Microsoft abused its position in the market with Windows 10 – after Moscow-based Kaspersky complained to the watchdog and EU regulators. In a lengthy blog post this week, the antivirus biz's founder Eugene Kaspersky argued that Microsoft deliberately used …
Iain Thomson, 11 Nov 2016
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Google: If you think we're bad, you should take a look at Apple

Google has responded to the European Commission's complaint that it is abusing its market power with the Android mobile phone operating system by griping that Microsoft and Apple are worse. The ad and search giant points out in a neat animated GIF that of the 39 bundled apps on an iPhone, all 39 of them stem from Apple; on a …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Nov 2016
Trump, photo by uplift the world via Shutterstock

Tech Trump: Silicon Valley steps into the valley of unhappiness

The biggest question facing millions of Americans this Wednesday is: just how much of what Donald Trump said on the campaign does he intend to actually try to make happen. And in that respect, few are more fearful than Silicon Valley. As we've already noted, Trump has backed a number of positions that go directly against the …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Nov 2016
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Naughty UK Google cloud users can now be sued by Chocolate Factory in England

BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy have promised not to screw over their British consumer cloud customers with dodgy terms and conditions, according to the Competition and Markets Authority. The promises are the latest result from the CMA's ongoing investigation into cloud service providers' contract terms, which the regulator says …
Gareth Corfield, 04 Nov 2016
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We're great, you don't understand competition law, Google tells Europe

Google has sought to blunt the European Commission’s three-prong inquiry into its business practices – by claiming the Eurocrats don’t understand antitrust law. Writing on Google’s corporate blog, senior VP and general counsel Kent Walker disclosed that Google has responded to the Commission’s shopping and advertising concerns …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Nov 2016

Delayed Ingram Micro sale to Tianjin Tianhai gets green light from US regs

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has approved the $6bn takeover of Ingram Micro, the world’s largest tech distie, by Chinese shipping magnate Tianjin Tianhai. The proposed buyout hit the rails earlier this summer when the Shanghai Stock Exchange fired a bunch of financial questions to Tianjin, …
Paul Kunert, 02 Nov 2016

No nudes, bloated apps, Android sucks and 497 other complaints about Apple to the FTC

Exclusive Apple and its products prompted almost 500 complaints to the US Federal Trade Commission in the past 22 months – a number that suggests the iGiant has cut the rate at which consumers express dissatisfaction. That of course doesn't include social media ire about the new MacBook Pro. The Register sent a Freedom of Information …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Oct 2016
1960s edition of the country house murder mystery game Cluedo or Clue - Patented in the UK by John Waddington Games in 1947 - illustrative. By SamJonah, via shutterstock. editorial use only

Murder in the Library of Congress

The US Copyright Office has been given a brutal Silicon Valley-style sacking, the first time the Copyright Register has been dismissed in 119 years. Maria A Pallante was locked out of her computer on Friday, according to Billboard, on the instructions of her boss, a new Obama appointee, Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2016
Galaxy Note 7 truck fire aftermath

Samsung puts out battery fire (no, not that one)

Samsung has received a welcome bit of news about its batteries that doesn't involve the words "fire" or "explosion." The Korean electronics giant has struck a settlement deal with Dell to drop allegations that it helped rig the price of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs for more than a decade. Samsung had been among a …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Oct 2016

Ericsson’s patent pool is far from the new start the IoT needs

Analysis There are many interesting aspects to the announcement that Qualcomm, among others, is joining Ericsson’s Avanci patent pool scheme. Some of these appear contradictory. On the one hand, Avanci illustrates how the old patent structures of the mobile industry will no longer be fit for purpose for the Internet of Things (IoT). …
Wireless Watch, 03 Oct 2016
Pot calling the kettle black

Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Salesforce has called on the European Commission to block Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn. A widely circulated statement from Salesforce Chief Legal Officer Burke Norton says “By gaining ownership of LinkedIn's unique dataset of over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries, Microsoft will be able to deny …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Sep 2016
Bahamas trees photo via Shutterstock

EU's one-time antitrust hammer Steelie Neelie had 'offshore interests'

The EU's former top corporate enforcer sat on a Bahamas-based business without declaring her interest. Neelie Kroes was a director of a firm called Mint Holdings between July 2000 and October 2009 while also serving as commissioner for competition – 2004 – 2010. Kroes also served as Commissioner for the Digital Agenda from …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Sep 2016
Music kid image via Shutterstock

Songsmiths sue US antitrust over Google-friendly rules ruling

Two independent women songwriters are suing the US antitrust department of the Department of Justice over its proposal to rip up songwriters' contracts to make them more Google-friendly. Crucially, in the remarks, the DoJ proposes that both ASCAP and BMI must accept 100 per cent licensing – so Spotify and other giant music …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Sep 2016

It actually will be Obama who decides whether to end US government oversight of the internet

The decision whether to end US government oversight of the internet will likely come down to a personal decision by President Obama on Thursday. In an extraordinary series of arguments and counter-arguments this past week, a last-minute push by Republicans looks likely to succeed in placing a funding freeze on the Department …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Sep 2016

Google breaks heart, White Knight falls off horse

Analysis Google Fiber was supposed to be the White Knight of US broadband, riding to its rescue. But this horse has bolted. In the opposite direction. Rumours of the scale back had already been reported - we just didn’t know by how much. Now it emerges that Alphabet CEO Larry Page has not only slashed Google’s FTTH operation in half, …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Aug 2016

Google had Obama's ear during antitrust probe

Updated According to emails released under the US Freedom of Information Act, Google briefed the White House amid an antitrust investigation into itself, breaking a 40-year precedent of the President's office staying well away from competition issues. Google lobbyist Johanna Shelton and the web giant's antitrust lawyer Matthew Bye met …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2016
rubles

Russia tells Google to cough up some loose change in Android monopoly probe

Updated Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has fined Google 468 million rubles ($6.8m) on charges that its Android operating system has been illegally disadvantaging other software vendors. Last February, the FAS announced an investigation into Android after complaints from local search engine Yandex that Android phones came …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2016

Ingram Micro and Tianjin Tianhai: Go on, PROBE us

Ingram Micro and the Chinese logistics giant Tianjin Tianhai that wants to buy it confirmed they are to submit the proposed $6bn bid for review to the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States. This is an about-turn because Ingram - the world’s largest tech distributor - previously said the deal would not “fall …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
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EU waves antitrust claims in Google's face, snarls 'You want some?'

EU antitrust regulators have accused Google of preventing rivals from competing in online advertising and search, deepening its existing probe into anti-competition allegations against the ad-flinger. The antitrust charges are the latest effort to clamp down on the advertising biz, following existing investigations claiming …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016

Apple, Amazon and Google are screwing us, warns Elizabeth Warren

Potential vice-president and Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren has accused tech giants Apple, Amazon and Google of undermining competition and using their political clout to kill off efforts to place limits on them. Giving the keynote [PDF] at a one-day conference titled "America's Monopoly Problem," the senator warned: " …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jun 2016
China keyboard, image via Shutterstock

Shareholders rubber-stamp Ingram Micro $6bn sale to Chinese firm

US-headquartered Ingram Micro edged closer to Chinese ownership last night when shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept Tianjin Tianhai’s $6bn offer. The mega bid for the world’s largest tech distributor was made in February by the Far East company, a subsidiary of HNA Logistics which is itself a division of conglomerate …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2016
Money on a book

Apple ebook payouts start

Apple iBooks Store customers will soon begin receiving their share of a $400m antitrust settlement. Law firm Hagens Berman said that starting on Tuesday, it will be distributing credits to customers who purchased certain e-book titles related to the case. Apple agreed to the $400m settlement in 2014 after it was charged that …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2016
World with light lines representing connectivity connecting various foci on the globe. Pic via Shutterstock

Net neut: Equal treatment of traffic doesn't mean equal service quality for users

Internet service providers (ISPs) do not need to ensure that the quality of service received by internet users is the same across all of their customers to meet their obligations on treating data equally as it passes over their networks, an EU regulatory body has said. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jun 2016
Photo by Guillaume Paumier

The Schmidt's hit by the fan: Alphabet investor sues Google bigwigs over EU antitrust ruckus

An Alphabet shareholder is suing company executives – including exec chairman Eric Schmidt, CEO Larry Page, and president Sergey Brin – for their roles in Google's EU antitrust case. Robert Jessup has filed suit [PDF] in a California state court against more than three dozen people, including the Google cofounders and long- …
Shaun Nichols, 26 May 2016
Google bikes outside Google HQ. Photo by Randy Miramontez/Shutterstock - for editorial use only.

EU mulls €3bn fine for Google

The European Commission may impose its largest ever fine on a company for misbehaving - and for Alphabet's Google, it could just be the start. The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Commission is considering a fine “in the region of €3bn” for Google’s anti-competitive search practices - or around half of Google’s European …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 May 2016
Photo by Michael Vadon

Guilty! Trump delivers orange justice to Amazon

Donald Trump has launched a stinging attack on Amazon after the Bezos-owned Washington Post launched an investigation into his background. In an interview on Fox News, the Republican's party's pick for president claimed a group of over 20 journalists at the Post were investigating his entire life. Far from an act of the power …
Iain Thomson, 13 May 2016

Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

A new project to uncover the symbiotic relationship between Google and the US government has uncovered some mind-boggling details. The Campaign for Accountability (CFA) this week launched the first two of its Google Transparency Projects. One of the projects – a visualisation of the revolving door between Google, the White …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2016

Getty on Google: It’s all about traffic, duh

Photo giant Getty Images has had enough – it has filed an antitrust complaint in Europe against Google. And the reasoning behind the action is more subtle than readers might think. Getty Images' VP Jonathan Lockwood explained why. Getty’s action isn’t a copyright dispute, he points out. It isn’t about piracy, rights, or right- …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Apr 2016

Why has Microsoft stopped being beastly to Google?

Analysis "You can't deprive a gangster of his gun" – Noel Coward Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees things differently from his predecessor Steve Ballmer. And one of the first thing Nadella saw differently is Microsoft’s relationship to Google. On assuming the hot seat, he couldn’t understand why Microsoft was obviously at war with …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Apr 2016
Man loads in blanket into the washing machine. Photo by Shutterstock

EMC results: It'll all come out in the post-Dell deal wash

+Comment EMC saw many pockets of growth in its first fiscal 2016 quarter’s results but overall revenues declined because core legacy product revenues fell, as did RSA and the enterprise content business. These declines more than offset the impressive growth rates of newer products. In the EMC earnings call, CEO and chairman Joe Tucci …
Chris Mellor, 21 Apr 2016
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Not OK, Google! FTC urged to thrust antitrust probe into Android

Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is calling on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to follow the European Union's lead and bring antitrust charges against Google Android. The group said that following the European Commission's statement of objections this week against the Chocolate Factory, it would like to see the FTC put …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2016

Google warned by EU

Google abuses its dominant market position, according to EU antitrust folk. In a Statement of Objections addressed to Google and its parent company Alphabet, the European Commission has warned the advertising giant over imposing restrictions on Android device manufactureers and mobile network operators, and is thus in breach …
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

Analysis Google structures its entire organisation to avoid privacy laws, minimise taxes and de-risk itself from competition oversight*. Today Google’s European supremo hinted that being in China might be less of a hassle, and that losing Google would serve us Europeans right for being so backward. Of course, it’s a sheer coincidence …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Apr 2016

European Union set to release anti-competition hounds on Google

The European Union looks to be formulating plans to charge Google with anti-competitive conduct over the Android operating system. The move coincides with a flank attack on Google, with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp filing a complaint about the legality of the Alphabet subsidiary's search and news services. The grounds for the …

Apple faces €48.5m fine from furious French

Apple is reportedly facing a €48.5m (US$55.3m) suit claiming it violated anti-trust rules in France. A report from the local BFM Business [in French] claims that the Cupertino electronics giant leveraged French mobile phone carriers into deals that were unfairly weighted in Apple's favor. The report claims the nation's …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Apr 2016
Robot surveys city by the sea. Image via SHutterstock

Google's dream city isn't a new idea

A top Google executive says he’d love to build a city from scratch - without the messy humans getting in the way. Speaking at a conference, Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff first reminded the world that Google’s parent Alphabet was “the single most ambitious company that ever existed” apart from perhaps the Dutch East India …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Apr 2016

Just how close are Obama and Google? You won’t believe the answer

An ethics watchdog thinks that the FTC may have misled Congress about how it protected Google, and highlights how the White House went into panic mode to limit the damage to the giant ad slinger over a newspaper report last year. Last March, Google learned that the Wall Street Journal was about to publish details of how the …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Apr 2016

FTC's privacy champion Julie Brill steps down

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is set to lose one of its primary champions of consumer protection and privacy: Commissioner Julie Brill will step down at the end of the month. The regulator did not give a reason for Brill's resignation. Sworn into office in April of 2010, her term was due to expire in September this …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Mar 2016
Netflix

'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Consumers are partly prevented from accessing online services and content across the EU by "contractual barriers" put in place by businesses, the European Commission has said. Where contractual provisions are behind so-called "geo-blocking" then those agreements might breach EU competition rules, the Commission said in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Mar 2016

Steve Jobs, MS Office, Israel, and a basic feature Microsoft took 13 years to install

tropeR laicepS You know the cliches: software is always late, and some features take longer to implement than others. The software feature you’re about to read about has only taken 13 years to implement, and turned out to be one of the most politically explosive we’ve ever covered. Cast your mind back to the beginning of 2002. Apple was in …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Mar 2016
The Kremlin in Moscow. Pic: Pavel Kazachkov

Shock: Russian court says Russian court is right in slapping down Google monopoly

An arbitration court in Russia has upheld an earlier decision that could see Google banned from bundling its stuff on Android gear. The Moscow Arbitration Court said in a brief statement that it would uphold the 2015 ruling from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) that Google abused its monopoly powers in Russia by forcing …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Mar 2016
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/ by Found Animals Foundation CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/

Why I'm regulating the 'sharing economy': An Italian MP explains

An Italian MP co-sponsoring Europe’s first legislation on “sharing economy” platforms tells us the bill ensures casual labour isn’t hit with swinging, punitive taxes. Professional services are already covered by existing legislation, says Stefano Quintarelli, an MP Italian Parliament for the Scelta Civica (“Civic Choice”) …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Mar 2016
EU logo on rubber glove

European commish considers probing Android, again

The European Union has taken early steps towards opening an antitrust investigation into the Android operating system. According to Bloomberg, Google's opponents have been asked to prepare redacted versions of their complaints with business secrets removed, so the documents can be shown to Google. The spirits tell Bloomberg …
Steve Jobs with OS X interface designers in 2001 shortly before the beta release

Dead Steve Jobs is still a crook – and Apple must cough up $450m for over-pricing ebooks

Apple's long and stubborn efforts to avoid the sting of ebook price-fixing probe and an accompanying $450m fine have finally ended: the US Supreme Court has decided not to hear the iTunes giant's appeal. The Cupertino titan lost its case back in 2013 after it was found guilty of conspiring with publishers Macmillan, Hachette, …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Mar 2016
A Chinese laundry on the back streets of Shanghai

SEC: Qualcomm hired relatives of Chinese officials to seal biz deals

Qualcomm has coughed up some cash after it was accused of bribing Chinese officials by giving their relatives plum jobs. The California chip designer today settled out of court with US financial watchdog the SEC for $7.5m. The deal ends an embarrassing investigation into claims the company broke the Foreign Corrupt Practices …
Chris Williams, 02 Mar 2016
empty pockets

Dell's $67bn slurp of EMC gets green light from EU antitrust bods

The EU has waved through the $67bn (£47bn) takeover of EMC by Dell, less than a week since the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal. All that's left now is for Dell to find the cash to fund its purchase - more than $40bn worth of greenbacks. . The deal came under the commissioner's scrutiny as Dell and EMC both provide …
Kat Hall, 29 Feb 2016