Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Khan’s FTC Nomination Will Proceed To Full Senate Vote; US Judge Pauses Discovery In Facebook Case

Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Khan’s FTC Nomination Will Proceed To Full Senate Vote; US Judge Pauses Discovery In Facebook Case

May 18, 2021 at 01:57AM

Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny.

Lina Khan’s Nomination Will Proceed To Full Senate Vote

Law professor Lina Khan, who is a critic of the market power of Big Tech firms, seems to be heading toward having a seat on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after a bipartisan endorsement from the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the U.S. Senate. Each of the committee’s Democrats and eight of the committee’s 12 Republicans voted to move Khan’s nomination forward. The nomination will now proceed to the full U.S. Senate.

US Judge Pauses Discovery Process In Facebook Case

A U.S. judge in the federal government’s antitrust case against Facebook declared that the firm’s motion to toss out the suit “raises a number of serious challenges” and halted the case’s discovery process, Reuters reported. Judge James Boasberg said he anticipated coming to a ruling on the motion to dismiss in June. The judge wrote in a concise order that “given … Facebook’s motion to dismiss raises a number of serious challenges to the complaint,” it would be too early to swap documents until he receives the opportunity to come to a determination as to if a portion of the complaint — or all of it — will be thrown out.

US Judge Throws Out Antitrust Claims Against Google By Advertisers

While a U.S. judge tossed out antitrust claims against Google that a collection of advertisers had brought, the judge provided them with an opportunity to make another attempt after contending with what she referred to as “serious concerns,” Reuters reported. The plaintiffs have up to June 14 to amend their suit, Reuters reported, citing the decision.

District Judge Beth Labson Freeman said that those bringing the suit who claimed that Google takes advantage of its dominance in online advertising have to be clearer in terms of which market they believe that the tech company monopolizes.

In addition, Freeman said that the plaintiffs have to provide an improved justification as to why Google’s unwillingness to support competitor systems on which the advertisers depend is anticompetitive since antitrust law does not mandate monopolists to assist rivals with their survival.

Alibaba’s Antitrust Penalty Hits Quarterly Results

Alibaba recently revealed its first quarterly loss since the online commerce firm became a public company. The firm posted an operating loss of $1.2 billion for the timeframe concluding on March 31, 2021, because of a $2.8 billion financial penalty that the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) instituted, Fortune reported. The price of Alibaba’s stock fell by 3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange following the earnings release. Alibaba referred to the fine as a “one-time impact.”

Twitter Reportedly Eyes Monthly Subscription Service Called ‘Twitter Blue’

Twitter is reportedly introducing a new subscription offering named ‘Twitter Blue.’ The service will be priced at $3 per month, according to a tweet from tipster Jane Manchun Wong, who noted that the offering could also come with a tiered pricing model. The news comes as the social media company said in early May that it would be releasing a new subscription offering. Twitter aims to reach $7.5 billion in revenue by 2023.