US justice department targets big tech firms in antitrust review

Officials to look into whether Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are unlawfully limiting competition The US justice department is opening a broad antitrust review into major technology firms, as criticism over the companies growing reach and power heats up. The investigation will focus on growing complaints that the companies are unlawfully stifling competition. The Departments review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online, the Department of Justice said in a statement. Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands, added the assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim, of the antitrust division. The review will investigate …

Google rejects plans to fight sexual harassment and boost diversity

Board rejects all 13 shareholder proposals to address a range of issues even as workers protest outside event Alphabet, the parent company of Google, failed to pass several proposals to address sexual harassment, antitrust issues and diversity policies at its annual shareholder meeting, despite hundreds of employees protesting outside the event. The annual meeting comes as Alphabet faces growing pressure from shareholders and employees, including overethical concerns surrounding its artificial intelligence systems, its operations in China. But the companys board voted down all 13 proposals shareholders had put forward, which encompassed a wide range of social concerns surrounding the company. They included efforts to change employment practicesand end forced arbitration. Google Tuesdays announcement that it will contribute $1bn to help …

Alphabet: Google parent company’s shares drop after latest earnings report

Report comes as company faces internal worker turmoil, and a recent $1.7bn fine from the EU Google shares slumped on Monday after the company failed to beat analyst predictions, following a year of internal turmoil, privacy concerns, and several international fines. The companys stock was down 7% in after-hours trading after it reported first quarter revenue of $36.34bn, lower than the $37.33bn revenue forecast by analysts. The quarter one earnings represent a 17% increase from the same time last year, in which it reported $31.15bn in revenue. In a call with investors on Monday, Googles CEO, Sundar Pichai, said the company would continue to invest more in algorithms on YouTube, following recent incidents that saw the platform offering hate speech, …