Biden Asks Asian Countries to Release Oil Reserves as Administration Scrambles to Combat High Gas Prices: Report

Joe Biden

The Biden administration asked China, Japan, South Korea and India to tap into their emergency oil reserves as the president continues to grapple with rising gasoline prices, Reuters reported.

The effort to simultaneously release oil reserves represents a rebuke of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the cartel that controls oil production throughout the Middle East, several anonymous sources familiar with the request told Reuters on Wednesday. OPEC has repeatedly rejected requests from President Joe Biden and other top administration officials to increase oil production amid rising gasoline prices.

The four Asian nations the president appealed to represent some of the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters, according to a University of Oxford database.

Read More

Facebook Fined Nearly $70 Million After Ignoring UK Government Orders

Facebook’s seemingly-unending stream of bad publicity continued this week, when it was fined nearly $70 million by the United Kingdom for what is being described as a deliberate lack of compliance into an anti-trust investigation. 

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy for nearly a year, and ordered the company to produce information “required information related to an initial enforcement order (IEO) placed on it by the watchdog, despite repeated requests for it to do so,” according to TechCrunch. 

Read More

U.S. Files New Complaint Against Facebook over Monopoly Concerns

The U.S. government amended its antitrust complaint against Facebook on Thursday, bolstering allegations that the tech company illegally maintained a monopoly.

The amended complaint follows the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) dismissed December 2020 complaint which failed to adequately prove the tech giant’s monopoly in the “Personal Social Networking Services” market.

The FTC alleges that Facebook illegally acquired competitors WhatsApp and Instagram in order to stifle competition, maintaining monopoly power by preventing competitors from operating on Facebook software.

Read More

Commentary: The Federal Trade Commission Shouldn’t Be a Lawless Agency

The Federal Trade Commission has been on the march.  Over the past month, the Commission has held two “open” meetings, rescinded two major bipartisan agreements by party-line vote, and positioned itself to write regulations for the first time in decades.

In the words of a former commissioner, the current FTC is “Icarus flying without the constraints of history, economics, or law.”  He predicts that its “regulatory overreach…will end with the FTC’s wings melting in the courts.”

Read More

Facebook Files Petition Demanding FTC Chair Lina Khan Recuse Herself From Antitrust Case

Lina Khan Facebook Headquarters

Facebook filed a petition Wednesday asking for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from the FTC’s antitrust case against the company.

The tech giant argued in the petition that Khan’s public statements, in which she suggested Facebook’s conduct constituted an antitrust offense, violated the company’s due process rights.

Read More

Biden’s Executive Order Targets Big Tech, Urges FCC to Restore Net Neutrality

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is taking aim at Big Tech and Big Telecom’s growing power with a new executive order that will add regulations and facilitate competition within the industries.

The order, which Biden is expected to sign Friday, includes over 70 provisions, all aimed at promoting competition within tech and telecom, both of which have become more monopolistic in recent years.

It encourages the Federal Trade Commission to overhaul its rules regarding personal data collection and bans unfair competition practices online, according to a White House fact sheet. It also calls for more scrutiny when examining potential corporate mergers, especially when a larger corporation acquires a smaller one or when it could affect customers’ privacy or competition within the sector.

Read More

Amazon Demands Recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chair from Any Antitrust Investigations

Federal Trade Commission

Tech giant Amazon recently demanded that the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission be recused from any antitrust investigations into the company, according to the Daily Caller.

Amazon filed the petition with the FTC on Wednesday, accusing Chairwoman Lina Khan of being biased due to the fact that she “has, on numerous occasions, argued that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up.” The petition continued by declaring that “these statements convey to any reasonable observer the clear impression that she has already made up her mind about many material facts relevant to Amazon’s antitrust culpability as well as about the ultimate issue of culpability itself.”

The FTC is already conducting several antitrust investigations, including against Amazon; their most recent efforts are focusing on Amazon’s possible acquisition of the film studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), a purchase of nearly $9 billion announced last month.

Read More

ANALYSIS: DOJ Investigators Involved in Antitrust Probe Don’t Appear to be Scrutinizing Claims of Bias in Google’s Search

by Peter Hasson and Chris White   Department of Justice investigators who are conducting an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the tech giant manipulates its search function, leaks about the probe and a source familiar with it indicate. Google critics argue that Google…

Read More

Senators Cruz and Hawley Urge FTC to Open Investigation Into Big Tech’s Censorship Practices

by Chris White   Two of the country’s staunchest big tech critics are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies’ perceived censorship practices. Facebook, Google and Twitter exercise lots of influence on Americans and they also use their tools to censor some content while amplifying others, Sens.…

Read More

Blackburn, Klobuchar Team Up to Ask FTC Investigate Online Platforms Over Privacy, Antitrust Concerns

U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Monday called for a Federal Trade Commission investigation into online platforms over privacy concerns, data security and antitrust violations. Blackburn tweeted, “Today, @SenAmyKlobuchar and I urged the @FTC to hold tech companies like @Google and @Facebook accountable for securing their…

Read More

Seven Steps Next Director Can Take to Make the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Less Awful

Kathy Kraninger

by Norbert Michel   The Trump administration has nominated Kathy Kraninger to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Roll Call reports that her confirmation hearing was “as politically contentious as it’s gotten in the last year and a half” on the otherwise “senatorial Senate Banking Committee.” Ignore the…

Read More