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US states ready antitrust probe of tech titans: report

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Top prosecutors from a group of US states are readying a joint investigation into whether major technology firms have violated antitrust law, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The alliance of state attorneys general could formally announce next month that they are delving into whether leading internet firms and technology platforms have used their clout to thwart competition, the Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

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The US Department of Justice last month announced it is reviewing “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers.”

Lawmakers and activists have raised concerns about the growing dominance of online giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon in key segments of the digital economy.

Once seen as the darlings of Washington, Silicon Valley firms have become targets for politicians of all stripes. US regulators recently imposed a record $5 billion fine on Facebook for lapses in privacy and data protection, including the leaking of private data for political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Tech firms and their backers deny monopolistic conduct and argue the fast-evolving digital economy has robust competition and has led to lower prices and more choice for consumers.

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Conservative Rick Wilson astonished as Gordon Sondland tosses Trump and his crew ‘under the bus wholesale’

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On Wednesday, as E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered his public testimony implicating President Donald Trump and several of his high-ranking officials in an explicit bribery scheme against Ukraine, former Republican strategist Rick Wilson tweeted his astonished reaction in real time, saying that he was throwing everyone "under the bus wholesale":

Sweet mother of God. Sondland is shoveling them under the bus wholesale.

— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 20, 2019

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Republicans walk out of impeachment hearing to get ‘orders’ from the White House: Claire McCaskill

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As US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland took his seat to give his testimony for today's public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry, former Sen. Claire McCaskill pointed out on MSNBC that key Republicans on the House Intelligence committee walked out of the room after Sondland's opening statement was released.

"And they are talking to the White House, I guarantee you right now, trying to figure out a path forward," McCaskill said. "And so, we may not gavel in for a while because it will be very difficult for Schiff to gavel in until the Minority shows up."

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‘Devastating for Trump’: Former White House lawyer says president’s defense ‘has entirely collapsed’ with Sondland testimony

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland will present "devastating" testimony, as evidenced by leaked copies of his opening statement.

Sondland directly will implicate President Donald Trump for a "quid pro quo" in his opening testimony.

Neal Katyal, the former acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration, offered his analysis of the testimony on Wednesday.

Katyal's analysis offers the implications for Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who Katyal suggests will need to be subpoenaed by House Democrats.

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