A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.
More antitrust cases are likely to be filed against Google soon by state attorneys general, even though partisan-tinged wrangling has clouded the path forward. At least two separate though overlapping groups of attorneys general are investigating the company concurrently. One effort, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) focuses on online advertising and could lead to a lawsuit being filed within weeks.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google reveals new details about a secretive, multibillion-dollar deal between Google and Apple. The suit targets paid deals Google negotiates to get its search engine to be the default on browsers, phones and other devices. The biggest of these is an agreement that makes Google search the default on iPhones and other Apple devices. The Justice Department said Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai met in 2018 to discuss the deal.
The Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms.
There is a fast-growing network of nearly 1,300 websites that aim to fill a void left by vanishing local newspapers across the country. Yet the network, now in all 50 states, is built not on traditional journalism but on propaganda ordered up by dozens of conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and public-relations professionals. The sites appear as ordinary local-news outlets, with names like Des Moines Sun, Ann Arbor Times and Empire State Today.
Without us even realizing it, the Internet’s most-used website has been getting worse. On too many queries, Google is more interested in making search lucrative than a better product for us. There’s one reason it gets away with this, according to a recent congressional investigation: Google is so darn big.
Rep Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and KTOE DJ Al Travis Thielfoldt face further questions about the nature of their working relationship as documents raise questions over whether Rep Hagedorn’s campaign paid Thielfoldt for radio interviews. The Free Press recently obtained a series of invoices written by Thielfoldt in his work as a paid advertising consultant to the campaign covering Sept 2019 and the first five months of 2020. In those monthly invoices, Thielfoldt lists dates of interviews he or others conducted with Rep Hagedorn on KTOE as well as interview blocks of time.
The US Chamber of Commerce, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, and others asked the Supreme Court to hear an appeal by Comcast on when courts can force a monopoly to do business with its rivals.
The only competitor challenging the growth of Google and Facebook's digital advertising dominance of late is Amazon. A years-long effort by major media companies to take on "the duopoly" has mostly fizzled out -- although media companies and activists have been successful in putting regulatory pressure on Google and Facebook, and that seems to be playing out in their favor, if ever so slightly.
The Department of Justice’s impending lawsuit against Google has narrowed to focus on the company’s power over internet search, a decision that could set off a cascade of separate lawsuits from states in ensuing weeks over the Silicon Valley giant’s dominance in other business segments.
Federal Trade Commissioner Rebeca Kelly Slaughter agrees with FTC Chairman Joseph Simons that political speech is outside the agency’s purview. “We are not the political speech police,” she said. Commissioner Slaughter said tech’s liability shield — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — is an “important area to consider reform,” but she rejects the idea that the law requires companies to be viewpoint neutral. Two of Slaughter’s colleagues have proposed the FTC use its unique research authority to conduct a study on targeted advertising. “I think it is a good idea,” she said.