1.GOOGLE -Google’s plan to block a popular web tracking tool called “cookies” is a source of concern for U.S. Justice Department investigators who have been asking advertising industry executives whether the move by the search giant will hobble its smaller rivals, people familiar with the situation said.
Alphabet Inc’s Google a year ago announced it would ban some cookies in its Chrome browser to increase user privacy. Over the last two months, Google released more details, leading online ad rivals to complain about losing the data-gathering tool.
The questions from Justice Department investigators have touched on how Chrome policies, including those related to cookies, affect the ad and news industries, four people said.
Investigators are asking whether Google is using Chrome, which has 60% global market share, to reduce competition by preventing rival ad companies from tracking users through cookies while leaving loopholes for it to gather data with cookies, analytics tools and other sources, the sources added.
The latest conversations, which have not been previously reported, are a sign that officials are tracking Google’s projects in the global online ad market where it and No. 2 Facebook Inc control about 54% of revenue.
The ad inquiry may not lead to legal action.
Executives from more than a dozen companies from an array of sectors have spoken with Justice Department investigators, one of the sources said.
The government has been investigating Google’s search and advertising business since mid-2019, and last October it sued Google for allegedly using anticompetitive tactics to maintain the dominance of its search engine. It has continued to probe Google’s ad practices.
Investigators also have asked rivals whether they encountered behavior similar to or worse than the advertising-focused accusations that attorneys general from Texas and other states leveled against Google in a lawsuit last December, the people said.
2.TWITTER-Russia’s communications watchdog said on Friday that Twitter had yet to respond to its requests to remove banned content after threatening to block the social media platform in one month unless it complied with its demands, the Interfax news agency reported.
Moscow said earlier this month it had slowed down the speed of Twitter inside Russia in retaliation for what it described as a failure to remove a specific list of banned content.
3. BANK OF AMERICA:–Bank of America Corp said on Thursday its 10-week summer internship program for 1,800 interns will be held virtually, as offices continue to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will have participants from around the world beginning on June 7 till Aug. 13, the bank said in a memo to its intern class.
The program will be hosted virtually to help ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, the bank said.
“We are encouraged by recent signs of progress around the world and will continue to assess the current environment to determine if it is appropriate to bring you in for an in-person experience at a later time,” the memo said.
4.TESLA:-Tesla shares fell 2.5% in Friday’s trade after China banned its vehicles from entering its military complexes on concerns about the cameras they carry.
As per a Bloomberg report, the order issued by the military advises Tesla owners to park their cars outside of military property.
In a report on the same lines, The Wall Street Journal reported that China’s government was restricting the use of the company’s cars by personnel at military, state-owned enterprises in sensitive industries and key agencies, as they could be a source of national security leaks.
Tesla cars have several small cameras externally to assist with parking and self-driving. The company’s Model 3 and Model Y have cameras embedded in the rear view mirror for driver safety.
While the Elon Musk tackles the new headache in China, the cup of challenges for the electric vehicle maker keeps filling up. Reuters on Friday reported that China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd ADR plans to roll out electric vehicles under a new marquee with different branding and sales strategies.
The brand, positioned in the premium segment and named ‘Zeekr’, will be housed under Geely’s to-be-launched EV entity Lingling Technologies, Reuters said.
The Times Thursday reported that Model 3, Tesla’s most popular model in the U.K., will no longer be covered by the country’s subsidy program.
The upper limit of cars eligible for the scheme will be reduced from 50,000 pounds ($70,000) to £35,000 ($49,000), leaving out Model 3 whose prices start at 40,500 pounds.
5.JP Morgan- Bank stocks tumbled, dragging broader markets lower, after the Federal Reserve said it would close a loophole in regulation.
JPMorgan and Wells Fargo were among the worst performers, down 3.4% and 2.6%, respectively.
The Fed said it won’t extend a pandemic-era rule set in April that allowed banks to relax some capital level rules to protect against losses. As of March 31, banks will again have to count their Treasury bond and cash holdings toward their Supplementary Leverage Ratio. They had exempted such holdings in the first wave of the pandemic to allow the financial system to absorb a massive injection of liquidity as it slashed interest rates and started buying bonds in huge volume.
Some analysts have argued that the ending of this exemption will reduce banks’ willingness to hold Treasuries in a year when federal government borrowing is set to skyrocket. If that thesis is proved, it would put significant upward pressure on bond yields, which are already rising amid fears of a return of inflation.
The Dow Jones Banks was down 2.6%, with all components in the red.