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DoJ seeks Google records as US states launch antitrust probe of Big Tech

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The US Department of Justice has asked Google to provide records on past investigations, as part of its extensive probe of tech giants over possible anti-competitive practices, the internet titan said Friday.

Washington has not named the companies it has targeted in its probe — which began in July — but it appears directed at the likes of dominant tech players such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

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“We have answered many questions on these issues over many years, in the United States as well as overseas, across many aspects of our business, so this is not new for us,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a blog post.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions,” Walker said, confirming rumors in the US media that a coalition of US states would soon launch an antitrust investigation of the group.

“We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Google was “one of America’s top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation: Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone,” he stressed.

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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.

A coalition of US states, including New York, on Friday launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook, the first of what is expected to be a wave of action against dominant technology firms.

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‘Hard to overstate’ how badly Taylor’s testimony damaged Trump: Ex-federal prosecutor

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On Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote for Politico Magazine that the testimony of Ukraine envoy William Taylor was devastating for President Donald Trump — and that if he keeps trying to deny wrongdoing, it will only get worse and maybe even force Senate Republicans' hand against him.

"It’s hard to overstate how much damage the testimony of Ukraine envoy William Taylor inflicted on President Donald Trump’s defense in the ongoing impeachment inquiry," wrote Mariotti. "On its face, Taylor’s testimony Tuesday established the quid pro quo that Trump has denied for weeks. But more importantly, Taylor’s detailed notes of the 'highly irregular' policy-making that he witnessed over the summer provide a roadmap to future testimony that could be even more harmful. Republicans have already begun to retreat from their 'no quid pro quo' line, but they will have to keep retreating because Taylor has almost single-handedly decimated the few witnesses who have provided some testimony that is favorable to Trump."

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‘How much did you get for your soul?’ Internet dogpiles Lindsey Graham after he walks back criticism of SCIF raid

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On Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared to have reached the limit of his capacity to defend his own party when a gang of House Republicans raided a sensitive, compartmented information facility where an impeachment hearing was taking place and illegally bringing in recording equipment. Initially Graham criticized the Republicans behind the stunt, calling it "nuts."

Later, however, he changed his mind and decided the demonstration was fine with him, offering this explanation:

CORRECTION:

I was initially told House GOP took the SCIF by force – basically like a GOP version of Occupy Wall Street.

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‘We lost New Mexico to Mexico’: Internet breaks into hysterics over Trump wanting to build border wall on Colorado

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The president of the United States indicated he accidentally forgot where the state of Colorado was during his speech to an energy conference of fracking companies Wednesday.

Trump told the audience he was building a "wall" in Colorado, which is the state just north of New Mexico. If Trump was referring to his U.S.-Mexico border wall, it's the southern New Mexico border on which he intends to build the wall.

It prompted many to wonder if the president whipped out his fact-changing Sharpie yet again.

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