Google probe: US state attorneys, justice officials seek coordination

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Updated 28 January 2020

Google probe: US state attorneys, justice officials seek coordination

  • Google dominates the US market for online advertising with a 36 percent share, compared to 19 percent for Facebook

WASHINGTON: The US Justice Department and state attorneys general are meeting this week for talks on their concurrent investigations into possible anti-competitive practices by Google, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Journal said the talks could eventually lead to the two groups joining forces as their investigations progress.

The Justice Department and the state attorneys general have not so far shared investigative materials from their respective probes, but officials said that could change.

At least seven state attorneys general have been invited to the meeting, according to the Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter.

A focus of the probes is Google’s dominant position in the online advertising market, the report said.

Another subject of scrutiny, it said, is possible anti-competitive behavior by Google in its Android operating system. The meeting is likely to include discussions of those issues as well as the scope of the investigations and how the work might be divided among them, the Journal said.

Neither the Justice Department nor the state attorneys general commented on the report, nor did Google.

Google dominates the US market for online advertising with a 36 percent share, compared to 19 percent for Facebook.

Facebook is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection bureau, which is looking into the impact on competition of the company’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

The House Judiciary, meanwhile, is examining the practices of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.


China revokes three Wall Street Journal press cards over ‘Sick Man’ headline

Updated 19 February 2020

China revokes three Wall Street Journal press cards over ‘Sick Man’ headline

  • Wall Street Journal op-ed had a ‘racially discriminatory’ and ‘sensational’ headline

China said Wednesday it has revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters over an editorial headline it deemed racist, with the newspaper adding they had been ordered to leave in five days.
The expulsion, one of its harshest moves against foreign media in recent years, came as Beijing also slammed Washington’s decision to tighten rules on Chinese state media organizations in the US, calling the move “unreasonable and unacceptable.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Journal editorial — which was titled “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia” — had a “racially discriminatory” and “sensational” headline, and slammed the newspaper for not issuing an official apology.
“As such, China has decided that from today, the press cards of three Wall Street Journal reporters in Beijing will be revoked,” Geng told a press briefing.
The Journal reported that deputy bureau chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both US nationals, as well as reporter Philip Wen, an Australian, had been ordered to leave the country in five days.
The editorial, written by Bard College professor Walter Russell Mead, also criticized the Chinese government’s initial response to the new coronavirus outbreak — calling the Wuhan city government at the virus epicenter “secretive and self-serving,” while dismissing national efforts as ineffective.
The February 3 piece “slandered the efforts of the Chinese government and the Chinese people to fight the epidemic,” said Geng.
The new coronavirus epidemic has killed over 2,000 people in China and infected more than 74,000, and has spread to at least two dozen countries around the world.