Monday September 23, 2019
Home Lead Story Tech Giants t...

Tech Giants to Face US House Hearings on Anti-trust, Cryptocurrency

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, according to the European Commission

0
//
Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are set to face two US House hearings on anti-trust issues and Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency Libra.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Judiciary will discuss anti-trust issues while the Senate Banking Committee will discuss Facebook’s digital currency ‘Libra’ that is slated to arrive in 2020, CNET reported on Sunday.

Amazon is often criticized for undercutting competition on price.

“Facebook and Google have struggled with questions around privacy, free speech and election interference. Amazon and Apple meanwhile have grown so large and powerful, some lawmakers say they’ve become monopolies that need to be split up,” said the report.

Facebook has reached a whopping $5 billion settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the Cambridge Analytica privacy violations.

facebook, ad targeting
FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

The FTC opened a probe last year into the matter after the social networking giant admitted Cambridge Analytica acquired detailed personal information of more than 87 million Facebook users via an academic researcher.

The report of the $5 billion settlement, the largest ever by the FTC against a tech company over privacy issues after a $22.5 million settlement with Google in 2012.

The Facebook case is being looked at as a measure of President Donald Trump’s administration’s willingness to regulate US tech companies.

Also Read: Muslims, Dalits and Tribals to Apply for Arms License for Self Defence

The European Union’s anti-trust regulators in March fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, according to the European Commission. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Buys Servicefriend To Boost Cryptocurrency Libra Experience

Aiming to make its cryptocurrency Libra customer friendly when it arrives next year, Facebook has acquired a startup called Servicefriend

0
facebook, servicefriend, startup, cryptocurrency, libra
Bitcoin, which has risen in value for eight consecutive days, received a boost after Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin by end of June 2020. Pixabay

Aiming to make its cryptocurrency Libra customer friendly when it arrives next year, Facebook has acquired a startup called Servicefriend that builds Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven bots for messaging apps.

The Israel-based startup is known for building “Hybrid Bot Architecture” – an approach that offers the enterprise the scalability of a bot with the intelligence, comprehension, and empathy of a human.

“We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

“Facebook’s plan is to build a range of financial services for people to use Calibra to pay out and receive Libra as for example, to send money to contacts, pay bills, top up their phones, buy things and more,” said the report.

Servicefriend has been deployed by leading enterprises around the world.

By using a hybrid bot for Messenger from Servicefriend to provide meaningful and efficient customer service, the telecom company Globe Telecom successfully increased employee productivity by 3.5 times and reduced calls to its hotline by 50 per cent.

facebook, servicefriend, startup, cryptocurrency, libra
Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture. VOA

With Servicefriend, the bot is always the front end, and every conversation receives the same branded, consistent and cohesive experience.

The new digital wallet for ‘Libra’ currency would be available in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and as a stand-alone app in 2020.

ALSO READ: Facebook Selects Six Projects from India for AI Ethics Research

Facebook has tied up with 27 organisations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association to create the new currency. (IANS)