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Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Biden Inks Order To Clamp Down On Large Tech Firms; Google Faces Suit From States Over App Store Practices

Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny.

Biden Inks Order To Clamp Down On Large Tech Firms

President Joe Biden inked an executive order last week that was designed to clamp down on anti-competitive behavior in Big Tech, among different industries, CNBC reported. “The impulse for this executive order is really around where can we encourage greater competition across the board,” Brian Deese, the chief economic advisor for the White House, told the outlet. The broad order covers more than 70 actions and suggestions that involve over 12 U.S. government agencies.

The order’s aims and initiatives include calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “challenge prior bad mergers” that administrations in the past allowed to occur. They also include making a “White House Competition Council.” Moreover, they include encouraging the FTC to restore “net neutrality” regulations that were undone during the previous presidential administration.

Google Faces Suit From States Over App Store Practices

Google Play, Google’s app store, is the focus of an antitrust lawsuit filed by dozens of states. Utah heads up the lawsuit, which was filed in a U.S. District Court. California and New York, among other states, signed on. “It’s strange that a group of state attorneys general chose to file a lawsuit attacking a system that provides more openness and choice than others,” Wilson White, Google’s senior director of public policy, said in a blog post.

Big Tech Firms Might Leave Hong Kong If Data Laws Pass 

Google, Twitter and Facebook have privately cautioned that they could stop providing their offerings in Hong Kong in the event that the authorities go ahead with intended modifications to data-protection laws. However, the region’s chief executive reportedly noted that the new regulations are necessary to stop the personal data of people from being maliciously posted online.

Apple Gets More Time To Prepare For Appeal Hearing Over $12 Million Fine In Russia

After a request from Apple for additional time to get ready, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia has given the go-ahead to postpone an appeal hearing regarding a $12 million financial penalty. Apple was fined as the result of a FAS ruling that the tech company’s App Store provides the tech company with an unfairly favorable position in the online app economy.

EU Considers 0.3 Pct Tax On Goods, Services Sold Digitally

The European Commission is mulling over a levy of 0.3 percent on merchandise and services sold digitally by firms that run in the bloc and have a yearly turnover of at least €50 million (approximately $59 million), POLITCO reported, citing unnamed sources. The move would be more of an online sales tax for all companies instead of one that just puts tech companies in the crosshairs.

Report: Google Set To Buy Japan-Based pring 

Google is reportedly set to purchase Japan-based pring, a cashless payment and settlement startup company for a price in the range of $180 million to $270 million. The move will provide the IT giant with a foothold in Japan’s expanding financial services sector. Google will provide FinTech services like transfers and payments throughout Japan by 2022 once the deal is wrapped up, mirroring similar offerings in India and the United States.

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