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Amazon: US Accuses Online Giant Of Illegal Monopoly

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Amazon Faces Multiple Allegations of Employee Mistreatment

The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the internet giant unlawfully maintains monopoly power.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Amazon engages in “a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies” to increase prices and stifle competition.

Amazon stated that the lawsuit was “incorrect based on the facts and the law, and we look forward to defending ourselves in court.”

It is the most recent technology titan to be sued by U.S. authorities.

Lina Khan, the head of the FTC, has had Amazon in her sights for years.

In 2017, Ms. Khan, who was only 29 then, published a significant academic article arguing that the online retailer had evaded antitrust scrutiny.

“With its missionary zeal for consumers, Amazon has marched towards monopoly,” she stated then.

amazon

The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the internet giant unlawfully maintains monopoly power.

Since her unexpected appointment as FTC Chair in 2021, this case has been widely anticipated and regarded as a crucial leadership test.

Some U.S. legislators have called for action to increase competition in online search, retail, and social media in response to the dominance of a handful of large tech companies.

However, under Ms. Khan, the FTC’s robust rhetoric against Big Tech has yielded few results.

It failed in its endeavor to prevent Meta from acquiring V.R. company Within in February.

And in July, it failed to prevent Microsoft from acquiring the Call of Duty developer.

Ms. Khan is pressured to make at least one prominent complaint stick, and the FTC has high aspirations for this case.

amazon

The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the internet giant unlawfully maintains monopoly power.

Along with 17 state attorneys, the agency asserts that the company is a “monopolist” that prevents competitors and sellers from lowering pricing.

In addition, the regulator claimed Amazon’s actions “degrade quality for consumers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from competing fairly with Amazon.”

However, the company claims that if the “misguided” FTC lawsuit is successful, consumers will have fewer options, pay higher prices, and experience delayed delivery times.

Due to the alleged monopoly, consumers lose money and receive worse bargains, which is the central argument of the case.

U.S. anti-competition law is complex, but prosecutors must demonstrate that a company’s actions have caused financial harm to consumers.

Many of Big Tech’s services, such as Google’s search engine and Meta’s Instagram, are free, proving this is only sometimes straightforward.

Google and the United States government began a court battle earlier this month, with the government accusing Google of monopolizing advertising technology.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Tesla’s Cybertruck Hits The Market With A Higher Price Tag And Plenty Of Challenges

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk presided over the company’s long-awaited Cybertruck delivery, which was first shown four years ago. While there was little new information since the original presentation, Tesla’s website was updated with a new price.

The event had the typical Musk flash, with lofty predictions about “the future” and visuals of Cybertrucks traveling across the ice, but it offered very little new information. Even the price on Tesla’s website, which required a $250 deposit to place an order, did not contain standard car-buying experiences, such as selecting options. There was no mention of practicalities like front trunk capacity or anything beyond the company’s current estimate of a 250-mile range.

However, the website did mention that the top-of-the-line model would be known as the “Cyberbeast.”

The Tesla Cybertruck starts at $60,990 before federal tax credits, over $20,000 more than the base model initially proposed at the vehicle’s introduction in 2019. The business originally stated that the Cybertruck would cost less than $40,000, but a pandemic and subsequent severe inflation prompted the corporation to change its mind.

Even then, it would only be “available in 2025,” according to the Tesla website.

If you want one in 2024, expect to pay about $80,000.

By itself, the Cybertruck enters an electric vehicle market packed with vehicles in the same price range. It’s not only pickups but also SUVs. It’s an issue that’s already dampening sales of some electric vehicles, particularly in the luxury market, as automakers struggle to establish their electric production processes.

He also bragged about the Cybertruck’s “sports-car-like” capability, showing a video of it hauling a Porsche 911 on a trailer while racing a Porsche 911 down a drag strip. Honestly, Porsche 911 sports cars aren’t sold on raw acceleration. Of course, neither is a pickup truck, so it’s unclear how big of a selling point that will be.

cybertruck

Tesla’s Cybertruck Hits The Market With A Higher Price Tag And Plenty Of Challenges

However, Tesla’s website only shows that acceleration figure for the Cyberbeast version of the truck, which costs over $100,000. The truck’s 11,000-pound towing capacity also noted in the presentation, is shown exclusively in the $80,000 or $100,000 all-wheel-drive variants.

According to Brian Moody, executive editor of Kelley Blue Book, the truck’s price range may be fine compared to other high-end trucks on the market. The pricing range that Tesla can provide is limited.

“Because Tesla has basically one version of the truck with some minor modifications, they don’t have the advantage of having a very low-price truck as well as a very high and heavy-duty, super-capable truck,” Moody wrote in an e-mail.

According to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, who is bullish on Tesla, the business has around 2 million bookings for the Cybertruck. He predicted that just 30% to 40% of those reservations would be turned into sales. The larger issue may be the production issues that Musk says the firm is experiencing as it attempts to ramp up vehicle manufacturing, especially with competition from electric pickups from Ford, GM, and Rivian.

“It’s a Herculean task to ramp production, but Tesla has been here before,” he said, referring to prior product launches such as the Model 3 sedan. However, he warned that “it’s a much more complex market for them to navigate.”

The Cybertruck, which resembled a high-end kitchen appliance when it was initially shown in 2019, looked like nothing else on the road, and it still does. The purpose of its strange, angular all-metal appearance was to stand out: Musk sought to make a statement with something that wasn’t just another large truck.

However, the Cybertruck’s qualities, such as power and range, do not stand out. The market has transformed during Tesla’s development and delays over the last four years. Even before the first one rolls into a customer’s driveway, Tesla’s flashy new pickup is significantly more ordinary beneath its gleaming veneer.

Electric motors can give a lot of towing and hauling power, and the truck’s basic size allows for many batteries and a long range. Tesla is one of many automakers to recognize this opportunity.

cybertruck

Even then, it would only be “available in 2025,” according to the Tesla website.

Ford began selling the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck four years ago, and Rivian R1T pickups have become familiar sights on American roadways. General Motors just began manufacture of the Chevrolet Silverado EV electric truck. Stellantis’ Ram 1500 Rev electric vehicle will also be available in late 2024.

This isn’t the same setting as it was four years ago, and the Cybertruck’s capabilities don’t look as impressive as they did. Many of these other trucks have capabilities that rival, and in some cases even outperform, Tesla’s.

Musk has also frequently stated how tough it is to construct the Cybertruck due to its unconventional design.

The truck is built of unpainted stainless steel, a material not commonly utilized for cars since the durability of the material that Musk has touted makes it difficult to build with and fix. The massive stamping machines commonly employed in auto manufacturing to quickly bend metal into shape struggle with stainless steel.

It also features a unibody construction rather than a separate body and chassis like most large pickups. Unibody structure is common in crossover SUVs and compact, light pickups such as the Ford Maverick. Body-on-frame designs are commonly used for heavy-duty vehicles due to their strength and flexibility for towing huge loads.

“There will be enormous challenges in reaching volume production with the Cybertuck and making the Cybertruck cash flow positive,” Musk remarked recently during an investor call.

cybertruck

Musk has also frequently stated how tough it is to construct the Cybertruck due to its unconventional design.

The Cybertruck’s total size could be an advantage. According to Tesla, the Cybertruck is less than 19 feet long, slightly shorter than conventional full-size trucks. However, Tesla boasts that its cargo bed, at over six feet long, is slightly longer than typical.

However, the Cybertruck may forego front storage in exchange for its small body length. It lacks the extended hood of other pickups, notably electric pickups from Ford and GM. This could imply that the Tesla has less “frunk” – or front trunk – space. Ample functional front room, in particular, has been a major selling factor for the Ford truck.

The wedge shape of the vehicle, where the sides of the cargo bed meet the roof, may also make access to the bed from the sides difficult. Pickup drivers frequently reach over the sides to load and unload objects close to the cab.

The payload capacity of the Cybertruck, or the amount of weight it can carry in its cargo bed, is also slightly higher than competitors currently in production. The Ford F-150 Lightning can tow up to 2,200 pounds. However, the Ram 1500 Rev will be able to haul up to 2,700 pounds, which is more than the Cybertruck.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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Mark Cuban Working On $3.5B Sale Of Dallas Mavericks To Sands Casino Family

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A person familiar with the talks said Tuesday night that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is working on a deal to sell a majority ownership in the NBA franchise to the family that owns the Las Vegas Sands casino empire.

According to the individual, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the specifics were not made public, the agreement would be in the $3.5 billion range and would take the league weeks to process.

In the deal, Cuba would retain control of basketball operations. NBA reporter Marc Stein initially reported the probable transaction.

Miriam Adelson, the widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, said earlier Tuesday that she was selling $2 billion of her shares to purchase an undisclosed professional sports team.

Mark Cuban expressed interest in cooperating with Sands about a year ago. He has been a supporter of legalizing gambling in Texas, a topic that failed to pass the state Legislature during its biennial session earlier this year.

The 65-year-old Mark Cuban, who just announced his departure from the popular business TV show “Shark Tank” after the 16th season next year, climbed to prominence swiftly after purchasing the Mavericks in 2000.

mark cuban

Mark Cuban Working On $3.5B Sale Of Dallas Mavericks To Sands Casino Family

Dallas had one of the worst franchises in pro sports in the 1990s before becoming one of the best under Mark Cuban, thanks largely to star player Dirk Nowitzki.

Miriam Adelson is the majority owner of Las Vegas Sands Corp., a publicly traded Las Vegas firm that constructed the Venetian and Palazzo resorts but now solely operates casinos in Macau and Singapore. Sheldon Adelson, founder and owner of Las Vegas Sands, died in 2021 at 87.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the business disclosed the sale of $2 billion in stock. Adelson and the Miriam Adelson Trust were named sellers in the filing, but no club, league, or location were mentioned.

If Adelson spends the entire $2 billion on the purchase, he will own at least 57% of the NBA franchise, based on the $3.5 billion valuation.

According to the document, Adelson, a 78-year-old medical doctor, will keep 51.3% of the company’s shares after the transaction. The family also controls the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada’s largest newspaper.

mark cuban

Mark Cuban Working On $3.5B Sale Of Dallas Mavericks To Sands Casino Family

“We have been advised by the selling stockholders that they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise … subject to customary league approvals,” according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The NBA’s verification procedure for prospective owners normally takes several weeks, after which the league’s Board of Governors must approve.

Mark Cuban also stated late last year that if Texas legalizes gambling, he plans to build a new stadium in downtown Dallas that will also serve as a casino resort.

Supporters of legalized gambling in Texas planned to get a constitutional amendment before voters during the most recent legislative session, but the idea did not advance. The Republican-controlled Legislature will not reconvene in regular session until 2025.

mark cuban

Mark Cuban Working On $3.5B Sale Of Dallas Mavericks To Sands Casino Family

Mark Cuban willikelyly fstay inview since he will retain control of basketball operations. Indeed, moves to legalize gambling in Texas could raise the reputation of a millionaire who has been prominent in sports, business, and finance for nearly 25 years.

Mark Cuban, a self-described basketball enthusiast who attended Indiana University, is virtually always courtside for Mavericks games. He has always been outspoken, and as owner, he has amassed millions in fines. Many of his rants were directed at government officials.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Google And Canada Reach Deal To Avert News Ban Over Online News Act

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Google has agreed with Canada to avoid a news embargo caused by a law requiring tech companies to pay for news content.

In reaction to the Online News Act, which goes into force on December 19, Google promised to remove links to Canadian news.

As a result of the law, social media company Meta has already blocked news on its sites.

The agreement came after months of negotiations between Google and Canada.

The law mandates Google and Meta, the owners of Facebook and Instagram, to establish payment deals with news providers.

google

Google And Canada Reach Deal To Avert News Ban Over Online News Act

The arrangement unveiled on Wednesday requires Google to pay news outlets C$100 million (£58 million, $74 million) per year, linked to inflation.

The funds will be utilized for “a wide range of news businesses across the country, including independent news businesses and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities,” according to an announcement made by Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge on Wednesday.

According to the announcement, Google will pay a “single collective” to distribute the monies to eligible news organizations “based on the number of full-time equivalent journalists employed by those businesses.”

“A sustainable news ecosystem is good for everyone,” Ms St-Onge said, adding that newsroom closures and layoffs put “the health of the Canadian news industry at risk.”

google

Google And Canada Reach Deal To Avert News Ban Over Online News Act

When Canada’s Online News Act was passed this summer, it was met with anger from tech corporations, while many media groups applauded it as a positive step toward market fairness.

Google called the plan “unworkable” and said it sought a “path forward” with the government.

“This unprecedented decision to put a price on links breaks the way the web and search engines work,” the business claimed in a blog post.

On August 1, Meta began blocking Canadian news material on Facebook and Instagram. When people try to read news on those platforms, they get notices claiming they can’t see the information in Canada or that no posts are available.

According to one estimate, news organizations might have earned up to C$329 million ($248 million; £196 million) per year from digital platforms due to the law’s enactment.

In reaction to a similar rule, Australian users were barred from posting or reading news on Facebook in 2021.

google

Google And Canada Reach Deal To Avert News Ban Over Online News Act

Australian MPs changed the law after Meta temporarily barred Australian users from sharing or watching news on its services.

When the adjustments were implemented, the blackout ended, and Google and Meta have subsequently struck more than 30 arrangements with Australian media firms.

The Canadian government has proposed a new law that would allow news organizations to negotiate payment with tech companies for reusing their content. This move is similar to Australia’s recent news media bargaining code, which requires tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay for news content.

If passed, this law could have significant implications for the relationship between news publishers and digital platforms, potentially reshaping the digital news landscape in Canada.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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