monopoly

WSJ: Amazon Is Cutting Back on House Brand Items Due to Poor Sales and Antitrust Pressure

The Wall Street Journal has revealed in an exclusive report that e-commerce giant Amazon has been reducing the number of items it sells under its own brands due to poor sales in recent months. The company is also facing intense regulatory pressure over its private label business, which is accused of using sales data from other brands on the Amazon platform to hijack their customer base with an inferior copy of their products.

Jeff Bezos looks nonplussed

Lawsuit: Online Dating Giant Match Held ‘Hostage’ by Google’s App Store Monopoly

Match Group, the company behind popular dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid, is suing Google, accusing the company of holding it hostage with its monopolistic stranglehold on the Android app store. The company’s lawsuit states: “Ten years ago, Match Group was Google’s partner. We are now its hostage. Blinded by the possibility of getting an ever-greater cut of the billions of dollars users spend each year on Android apps, Google set out to monopolize the market for how users pay for their Android apps.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

Europe Takes on the Big Tech Masters of the Universe with Digital Markets Act

The Big Tech Masters of the Universe are facing renewed pushback as the European Union Council and European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on the Digital Markets Acts (DMA). The DMA will attempt to tame the anti-competitive power of tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, which the act labels as “gatekeepers.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives at the European Parliament, prior to his audition on the data privacy scandal on May 22, 2018 at the European Union headquarters in Brussels. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

DOJ: Google Abuses Attorney-Client Privilege to Hide Documents

The Department of Justice has accused tech giant Google of training employees to hide business communications from legal review “by using false requests for legal advice.” The DOJ has informed a judge overseeing an antitrust case against the Masters of the Universe that the company trains employees to add lawyers to written communications and seek legal advice even when not required so it could invoke attorney-client privilege when documents are requested as part of an investigation.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai smiles ( Justin Sullivan /Getty)

‘Rife with Conflicts of Interest:’ Google Faces European Antitrust Complaint over Digital Advertising

Tech giant Google is facing another antitrust complaint filed in the EU related to the company’s digital advertising business. The European Publishers Council compares Google’s stranglehold on the digital advertising business and its built-in conflicts of interest as both ads buyer and seller to “Goldman or Citibank owning the New York Stock Exchange.”

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco on 28 June 2012

Amazon Shuts Down ‘Sold by Amazon’ Program Following Antitrust Investigation

Amazon has reportedly shut down its “Sold by Amazon” program following an investigation from Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson which found that the program violated antitrust laws. The program involved Amazon setting minimum prices for certain sellers’ products and the Masters of the Universe taking a cut of anything sold at prices above the minimum. One Amazon seller commented on the program, “Almost everyone I talked to said this doesn’t seem right. Normally, when you let the foxes run the hen house, the hens get eaten.”

Investigator says Amazon chief's phone hacked by Saudis

Tough Luck Zuck: Judge Rejects Facebook’s Request to Dismiss FTC Antitrust Lawsuit

A federal judge has ruled that the FTC can move forward with its revised antitrust case against Facebook. The judge rejected Facebook’s request to dismiss the case, writing: “Although the agency may well face a tall task down the road in proving its allegations, the court believes that it has now cleared the pleading bar and may proceed to discovery.”

Mark Zuckerberg looking perturbed

Amazon and Google Deploy Army of Shills to Fight Regulation

Amazon and Google are reportedly mobilizing the small businesses that they claim rely on their platforms to fight antitrust bills that threaten to break up the Masters of the Universe. Incredibly, some small businesses are arguing that bills designed to stop Amazon from copying their products and destroying their business by favoring the platform’s own brand would be a net negative for their companies.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos during the JFK Space Summit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Lawsuit: Google and Apple Conspire to Maintain Stranglehold on Search Market

A new class-action lawsuit alleges that Apple and Google have an agreement that keeps the iPhone maker out of the search engine business as long as Google pays to remain the default search option in Apple’s Safari browser. The lawsuit claims the two companies maintain their anticompetitive agreement with “regular secret meetings” between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Sundar Pichai CEO of Google ( Carsten Koall /Getty)

200+ Local Newspapers Sue Google and Facebook

More than 200 newspapers across the U.S. have reportedly joined antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook over the past year. The lawsuits claim that Facebook and Google have monopolized the digital ads market, taking revenue that should have gone to local news outlets.

Mark Zuckerberg frowning

Rigged: Investigation Finds Amazon Brands and Exclusives Hold Top Spot in 7 Out of 10 Product Searches

According to a recent report, e-commerce giant Amazon purposefully ranks its own products above other higher-rated competitors on its platform. According to an investigation by the Markup, “We found that knowing only whether a product was an Amazon brand or exclusive could predict in seven out of every 10 cases whether Amazon would place it first in search results.”

Jeff Bezos of Amazon laughing

FTC Memo Calls for Focus on ‘Structural Dominance’ of Big Tech

FTC Chair Lina Khan sent a memo to staff this week in which she called for the agency to focus on power imbalances and address the “structural dominance” of big companies. The memo’s mention of “next generation technologies” implies a heavy emphasis on the Big Tech Masters of the Universe.

FTC Chair Lina Khan

J.D. Vance, Claremont Institute File Amicus Brief in Ohio Lawsuit Against Google

Ohio State Rep. Douglas Swearingen (R-OH-89), Ohio Republican senate primary contender J.D. Vance, and The Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence have filed an amicus brief in State of Ohio v. Google, a case filed against the tech giant by the state’s attorney general, taking aim at its allegedly anti-competitive practices.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai before Congress

FTC: The Big Tech Masters of the Universe Exploit ‘Loopholes’ to Avoid Merger Reviews

The FTC has alleged that hundreds of deals made by tech giants like Facebook and Google were not reviewed by merger watchdogs, fueling the companies’ unchecked growth. Events like gaining voting control of rivals, buying patents, and outright buyouts of small tech companies are a key part of the arsenal used by the largest Big Tech companies to maintain their stranglehold over the internet.

Mark Zuckerberg frowning

FTC Files Updated Antitrust Complaint Against Facebook

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly filed another antitrust complaint against Facebook, alleging that the social media giant is an illegal monopoly. A federal judged dismissed the agency’s previous complaint against Mark Zuckerberg and the Masters of the Universe.

Mark Zuckerberg uncomfortably wears a tux ( Rich Fury /Getty)