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Technology 14 December 2020

The Week in Internet News: Facebook Faces U.S. Antitrust Lawsuits

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

Do not pass go: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general from 46 states have filed antitrust lawsuits, charging the social media giant Facebook of expanding its monopoly position by acquiring potential rivals including WhatsApp and Instagram, The Hill reports. It’s possible that Facebook would be required to sell off those acquisitions. Facebook has noted that both acquisitions were approved by regulators at the time.

Get off my phone: The government of China has ordered several apps, including one from TripAdvisor, to overhaul their products in an alleged crackdown on pornography and other “improper” content, The Associated Press says. In the meantime, China’s National Cyberspace Administration ordered the removal of 105 apps including TripAdvisor from app stores. The agency said there were public complaints about obscene, pornographic, and violent information as well as fraud, gambling, and prostitution.

Cookie spies: The government of France’s data privacy agency has fined Google US$121 million and Amazon $42 million for breaking the country’s rules on tracking cookies, Reuters says. The Google fine was the largest ever from the French Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés. The CNIL said the companies’ French websites didn’t seek the prior consent of visitors before advertising cookies.

Self-service park: A park near Wuhan, China, has added 19 self-driving vehicles to its operation, South China Morning Post says. The fleet, which goes into operation 1 January, will include vehicles for cleaning and food vending, along with shuttle buses, taxis, and sightseeing cars. Several companies, including artificial intelligence start-up DeepBlue Technology, carmaker Dongfeng Motor, and autonomous delivery company Neolix Technologies, have worked on cars for the park.

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