Google Inc is seeking to persuade the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it hasn’t broken antitrust laws and that any final agreement with the agency over its business practices shouldn’t be bound by a consent decree, three people familiar with the matter said.
CEO Larry Page met with FTC officials on Tuesday in Washington as the agency moves to wrap up its 19-month investigation of the company’s business practices, said one of the people familiar with the discussions.
Google has been engaged in settlement talks with the FTC for about a week, including an effort to define whether there’s a market where Google has a monopoly, one of the people said. The company is concerned that entering a formal settlement agreement with the agency may hurt its business prospects, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations aren’t public.
“We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have,” Adam Kovacevich, a Google spokesman, said on in an e-mail.
The government’s business climate monitor last month remained “green” thanks to more working days, but consumer confidence retreated this month as the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, the National Development Council said yesterday. The healthy readings had much to do with the timing of the Lunar New Year, but still reflected the fast-evolving economic effects of the pandemic, NDC research director Wu Ming-huei (吳明蕙) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There is no room for optimism as the virus spreads quickly in Europe and the US, where self-isolation requirements are freezing demand for nonessential products and services,” Wu said. The development is worrying and much
Facebook Inc on Tuesday said that the COVID-19 outbreak was undercutting sales of the advertising that accounts for nearly all of its revenue, even as more users spend time on the social network during virus-related lockdowns. “We don’t monetize many of the services where we’re seeing increased engagement, and we’ve seen a weakening in our ads business in countries taking aggressive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement. Facebook shares fell about 1 percent after hours following an 8.7 percent rise in regular trade. The company said messaging across its platforms had increased more than 50 percent
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday said it would consider easing regulations on life insurers’ real-estate investments to allow them to cut rents for tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The commission might lower the minimum rate of return on insurers’ real-estate investments, which stands at 2.095 percent, FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) told a meeting of the legislature’s Finance Committee. Koo’s comment came after the Life Insurance Association suggested the FSC trim the minimum rate of return so insurers could cut rents to help affected tenants, such as restaurants, hotels, travel agencies and department stores. While the association suggested a cut of
Fitch Ratings Inc reduced its outlook on eight Taiwanese securities companies from “stable” to “negative” to reflect heightened uncertainty in the operating environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies are Oriental Securities Corp (亞東證券), Concord Securities Co (康和證券), Grand Fortune Securities Co Ltd (福邦證券), Shin Kong International Securities Co (新光證券), Ta Ching Securities Co (大慶證券), Tachan Securities Co (大展證券), Horizon Securities Corp (宏遠證券) and CL Securities Taiwan Co Ltd (台灣匯立證券). The revision mirrored heightened uncertainty and increasing pressure on their earnings and profitability amid potential proprietary trading losses, Fitch said. Downside risks have built up from increased capital market volatility, as well as