Google withdrawal threats could result in antitrust backlash: Vestager (Bloomberg)

Bloomberg: Google withdrawal threats could result in antitrust backlash: Vestager. “European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager warned of potential antitrust action against Google or other US technology giants if they threaten to pull out of markets. Vestager told the European Parliament’s economy committee on Tuesday that there could be scope for ‘investigating if it’s actually legal for a dominant provider to stop supplying’ services, adding that the EU ‘would have a number of tools to use.’”

Marketplace: New antitrust legislation would check the power of tech giants

Marketplace: New antitrust legislation would check the power of tech giants. “I spoke with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who leads the subcommittee on antitrust and has introduced a bill intended to check the power of tech giants. It focuses mostly on acquisitions, aimed at preventing huge companies from buying potential competitors and forcing companies that control more than 50% of a market to prove that an acquisition wouldn’t reduce competition. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.”

Brookings Institution: Do not expect too much from the Facebook antitrust complaints

Brookings Institution: Do not expect too much from the Facebook antitrust complaints. “The need to please advertisers will inevitably frustrate the widespread expectation that a Facebook breakup will lead to better privacy protections for users. True, there will be a one-time benefit for user privacy as Facebook’s integrated data base is ripped apart into separate profiles of WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook users. But each of these companies will rapidly rebuild their user profiles with new data and continue their efforts to exploit this data to personalize services and advertising.”

New York Times: An Australia With No Google? The Bitter Fight Behind a Drastic Threat

New York Times: An Australia With No Google? The Bitter Fight Behind a Drastic Threat. “In a major escalation, Google threatened on Friday to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government approved legislation that would force tech companies to pay for journalism shared on their platforms. Facebook, which appeared with Google at an Australian Senate hearing, reaffirmed a threat of its own, vowing to block users in Australia from posting or sharing links to news if the bill passed.”

New York Times: Behind a Secret Deal Between Google and Facebook

New York Times: Behind a Secret Deal Between Google and Facebook. “In 2017, Facebook said it was testing a new way of selling online advertising that would threaten Google’s control of the digital ad market. But less than two years later, Facebook did an about-face and said it was joining an alliance of companies backing a similar effort by Google. Facebook never said why it pulled back from its project, but evidence presented in an antitrust lawsuit filed by 10 state attorneys general last month indicates that Google had extended to Facebook, its closest rival for digital advertising dollars, a sweetheart deal to be a partner.”

The Guardian: Google admits to running ‘experiments’ which remove some media sites from its search results

The Guardian: Google admits to running ‘experiments’ which remove some media sites from its search results . “Google has been hiding some Australian news sites from search results, in a move media outlets say is a show of ‘extraordinary power’ as the tech company bargains with the Australian government over financial payment for content.”

Gizmodo: Google’s Plan To Quash Cookies Draws Scrutiny From Regulators

Gizmodo: Google’s Plan To Quash Cookies Draws Scrutiny From Regulators. “On Friday, UK’s antitrust authority announced a new investigation into Google’s plan to end support for third party cookies in Chrome. The probe, it explained, is meant to determine whether the change ‘could cause advertising spend to become even more concentrated on Google’s ecosystem,’ potentially choking out competing companies that are — for the most part — already gasping for air.”

New York Times: Google Dominates Thanks to an Unrivaled View of the Web

New York Times: Google Dominates Thanks to an Unrivaled View of the Web. “Understanding how Google’s search works is a key to figuring out why so many companies find it nearly impossible to compete and, in fact, go out of their way to cater to its needs. Every search request provides Google with more data to make its search algorithm smarter. Google has performed so many more searches than any other search engine that it has established a huge advantage over rivals in understanding what consumers are looking for. That lead only continues to widen, since Google has a market share of about 90 percent.”

BNN Bloomberg: Oracle’s Hidden Hand Is Behind the Google Antitrust Lawsuits

BNN Bloomberg: Oracle’s Hidden Hand Is Behind the Google Antitrust Lawsuits. “With great fanfare last week, 44 attorneys general hit Google with two antitrust complaints, following a landmark lawsuit the Justice Department and 11 states lodged against the Alphabet Inc. unit in October. What’s less known is that Oracle Corp. spent years working behind the scenes to convince regulators and law enforcement agencies in Washington, more than 30 states, the European Union, Australia and at least three other countries to rein in Google’s huge search-and-advertising business. Those efforts are paying off.”

Ars Technica: Google, Facebook reportedly agreed to work together to fight antitrust probes

Ars Technica: Google, Facebook reportedly agreed to work together to fight antitrust probes. “More than three dozen state attorneys general last week filed an antitrust suit against Google, accusing the tech behemoth of a slew of anticompetitive behaviors. Among those behaviors, a new report finds, is an explicit agreement from Google to work with Facebook not only to divide the online advertising marketplace, but also to fend off antitrust investigations.” Well, that’s blatant.