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Amazon, Google Probed in U.K. Over Fake Reviews
  + stars: | 2021-06-25 | by ( Adria Calatayud | Joe Hoppe | ) www.wsj.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
com Inc. and Google are doing enough to crack down on fake reviews, adding a new layer to regulatory scrutiny of U.S. tech giants. The move comes amid recent investigations into Silicon Valley’s market power and privacy practices, turning the spotlight to misleading online reviews. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a shift to online consumption, increasing consumers’ reliance on online reviews to decide on product purchases. The CMA’s decision follows an initial investigation, opened in May 2020, assessing several platforms’ internal systems and processes for spotting and dealing with fake reviews. The work raised concerns that Amazon and Google weren’t doing enough to detect fake and misleading reviews and suspicious behavior, investigate and promptly remove fake reviews, or impose adequate sanctions on reviewers or businesses to deter them.
Organizations: Inc, Google, Markets
UK regulator opens formal probe into Amazon, Google over fake reviews
  + stars: | 2021-06-25 | by ( ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File PhotoJune 25 (Reuters) - Britain's competition regulator on Friday opened a formal investigation into Amazon (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc's Google (GOOGL.O) over concerns the tech giants have not done enough to combat fake reviews on their sites. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will now gather further information to determine whether the firms may have broken consumer law by taking insufficient action to protect shoppers from fake reviews. The move comes after an initial CMA investigation, which opened in May 2020, and assessed several platforms’ internal systems and processes for identifying and dealing with fake reviews. “Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations," said CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli. "Equally, it’s simply not fair if some businesses can fake 5-star reviews to give their products or services the most prominence, while law-abiding businesses lose out."
Persons: Shannon Stapleton, Andrea Coscelli, it’s, Yadarisa, Aditya Soni Organizations: REUTERS, Markets Authority, CMA, Thomson Locations: Chelsea, New York City, U.S, Bengaluru
A UK regulator is investigating whether Amazon and Google have done enough to stop fake reviews. Amazon recently urged social-media firms to help it prevent fake reviews on its site. Some merchants are also buying fake reviews "in bulk" online, according to a February report by Which. Groups selling Amazon reviews have also popped up on social-media sites such as Facebook and Telegram. Insider spoke to some of the fake reviewers in February, including one who had a product refunded after deleting a negative review she had left.
Persons: Read, Amazon, Andrea Coscelli, it's Organizations: Amazon, Google, CMA, Tech, Service, Markets Authority, Facebook, Financial Times
Amazon and Google face UK competition probe over fake reviews
  + stars: | 2021-06-25 | by ( Ryan Browne | ) www.cnbc.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
LONDON — Britain's competition regulator on Friday launched a formal probe into Amazon and Google over concerns they haven't done enough to tackle fake reviews. "We are investigating concerns that Amazon and Google have not been doing enough to prevent or remove fake reviews to protect customers and honest businesses," Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said in a statement. The Competition and Markets Authority began an initial investigation into the issue of fake reviews back in May 2020. Earlier that year, it had gotten Facebook and eBay to remove several groups and accounts that engaged in trading fake reviews. On Friday, the CMA focused on Amazon and Google, saying it was going to look into whether they had done enough to detect and remove fake reviews.
Persons: Andrea Coscelli Organizations: Google, CMA, Markets Authority, eBay, Facebook, European Union, Brexit, Markets Unit
London (CNN Business) British regulators are investigating whether Amazon and Google have broken consumer protection law by not doing enough to protect shoppers from fake product reviews. formal inquiry, which builds on a preliminary probe launched last May, could force Amazon AMZN Google GOOGL The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Friday that itsformal inquiry, which builds on a preliminary probe launched last May, could forceandto change the way they deal with fake reviews or result in court action. "Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations," CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said in a statement. "Equally, it's simply not fair if some businesses can fake 5-star reviews to give their products or services the most prominence, while law-abiding businesses lose out," Coscelli added.
Persons: Andrea Coscelli, it's, Coscelli, Read Organizations: London, CNN Business, Amazon, Google, Markets Authority, CMA
The Teamsters, one of America’s largest labor unions, voted in favor of launching a national effort to unionize Amazon workers at a virtual convention Thursday. The national effort, laid out in a resolution, will involve creating and funding a dedicated Amazon division to help workers in its logistics business, including warehouse workers and delivery drivers, to organize and demand better working conditions. “Amazon presents a massive threat to working-class communities and good jobs in the logistics industry,” Randy Korgan, the Teamsters National Director for Amazon, said. “Amazon workers face dehumanizing, unsafe and low-pay jobs, with high turnover and no voice at work." These include the Teamsters, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and the Service Employees International Union.
Persons: , Kara Deniz, ” Randy Korgan, John Logan, Logan Organizations: Teamsters, Teamsters ’, Teamsters National, Amazon, Labor, San Francisco State University, Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union, The United Food, Commercial Workers International Union, Service Employees International Union Locations: Bessemer , Alabama, United States
Launching Jeff Bezos into orbit is a leap too far for insurers
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( ) www.nbcnews.com + 0.00   time to read: +6 min
Launching one of the richest individuals on earth into orbit has proved a leap too far for insurers, who are not ready to price the risk of losing Jeff Bezos or his fellow space travelers. Bezos, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters on their insurance plans and flight records. NASA astronauts are eligible for government life insurance programs, a NASA spokesperson said in an emailed response. A key question for how the sector develops is whether risks related to tourism fall under space or aviation insurance lines, insurers and brokers told Reuters. The first-ever aviation insurance policy was written by Lloyd's of London in 1911.
Persons: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Michael Barry, Bezos, We're, Neil Stevens, Richard Parker, Charles Wetton, Wetton, Tim Rush, Gallagher, Akiko Hama, Lloyd's, Charles Lindbergh, Marsh's Stevens, Stevens, Space's Parker, we're, Parker Organizations: Amazon, Elon, Insurance, Institute, Reuters, Shepard, Galactic, Virgin Galactic, NASA, AmTrust, Global Aerospace, International, Station Locations: Marsh, U.S, London, United States, Europe
The Library of Congress expects that artificial intelligence can help people search through its troves of digital information to glean new insights about the U.S.’s history. As of 2018, the library’s digital collection consisted of 410 million unique files representing about 16 petabytes of data. Computer vision is a field of AI where machines are trained to analyze images. Photo: Lauren TiltonHer work will involve harnessing computer vision algorithms to identify objects in photographs of that time period, such as trains, cars and telephones. That is not an easy task because many of today’s computer vision algorithms are trained to recognize modern-day objects, Dr. Tilton said.
Persons: Kate Zwaard, Zwaard, , Andromeda Yelton, Molly Tomlinson, , Lauren Tilton, Tilton, Lincoln Mullen, Roy Rosenzweig, Bernard Barton, Sara Castellanos Organizations: Congress, Facebook Inc, Inc, Library of Congress, Washington , D.C, , University of Richmond’s Department, Rhetoric, Communication, University of Richmond, George Mason University, Roy, New Media, Cultural Heritage, Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft Corp Locations: Washington ,, sara.castellanos
Microsoft Launches Windows 11 in a Reboot for the App-Economy Age
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Aaron Tilley | ) www.wsj.com + 0.73   time to read: +1 min
The new Windows will feature an app store that collaborates with Amazon . In addition to Windows-based apps, users will be able to choose from Android apps Amazon offers to install on their PCs. The partnership would make such apps that have become more central to people’s lives easily accessible on their PC screens. Microsoft has argued that behavior is anticompetitive and argued for users to have more choice. “Windows has a role to play as the most open of ecosystems today that plays nicely with the others,” Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said in an interview.
Persons: Satya Nadella Organizations: Microsoft Corp, Google, Inc, Amazon, TikTok, Uber Technologies, Microsoft, Apple Inc, Apple
WASHINGTON—A House committee approved far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of tech giants, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc., but much of the effort faced intensive lobbying by affected firms that slowed the committee’s work and foreshadowed a pitched battle in the Senate. Another measure, passed late Wednesday, requires that the largest internet platforms make it easier for users to transport their data to other platforms and even communicate with users on other platforms. The bills must still pass the full House, where the timetable for bringing them to the floor for final votes remains unclear. The package would affect large tech firms including Google, Facebook, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The debate over the House Judiciary Committee’s legislation started Wednesday morning and continued into Thursday morning, as Republicans—and some Democrats—raised concerns and floated amendments.
Persons: WASHINGTON, Organizations: Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Senate, Federal Trade Commission, Google, Facebook, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Judiciary
WASHINGTON—A House committee approved far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of tech giants, raising political alarms for firms including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. The move leaves the big tech firms—once darlings of Washington—in lawmakers’ crosshairs, despite intensive lobbying efforts. The package also includes a measure to bar big tech companies from favoring their own products in a range of circumstances on their platforms. Known as the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, it would prohibit big platforms from engaging in conduct that advantages their own products or services, disadvantages other business users, or discriminates among similarly situated business users. The bill—known as the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching, or Access, Act—would give the Federal Trade Commission extensive new powers to set individualized standards for the large tech companies.
Persons: WASHINGTON, Washington —, ’ crosshairs Organizations: Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Senate, Federal Trade Commission Locations: Washington
Teamsters Union Votes to Help Organize Amazon Workers
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Sebastian Herrera | ) www.wsj.com sentiment -0.76   time to read: +1 min
One of America’s largest labor unions passed a resolution Thursday designed to aid Amazon . com Inc. workers in eventually achieving a union contract, a move aimed at putting further labor pressure on the e-commerce giant following a recent failed unionization effort in Alabama. The resolution, titled “Building Worker Power at Amazon,” stipulates that the union would “supply all resources necessary” and eventually create a special division to organize workers at the company. “Amazon is changing the nature of work in our country and touches many core Teamster industries and employers,” the union said in the resolution. In the past, the company has said that a union is unnecessary because its workers already receive the pay and benefits that a union would bargain for.
Organizations: Inc, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Amazon, Teamsters Locations: Alabama, North America
Amazon restores services after multiple users face outage
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: The Amazon logo is seen outside its JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York, U.S. November 25, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo(Reuters) -Multiple users experienced a brief outage at Amazon.com Inc’s platforms including Alexa and Prime Video late Wednesday before services were restored, according to outage monitoring website Downdetector. Outage reports dropped significantly to double digits on the platforms in a little over an hour, Downdetector showed. Amazon did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.
Persons: Brendan McDermid Organizations: REUTERS, Alexa Locations: Staten Island , New York, U.S
India's draft plan "includes several concerning policies, including significant limits on platforms' ability to organise sales and handle grievances," USIBC said in an email to its members. India's new proposed rules have raised concerns they will force Amazon and Flipkart to review their business structures, industry sources and lawyers have told Reuters. The USIBC email noted that India's proposals "preclude (e-commerce) platforms from owning vendors". India's rules also will force e-commerce companies to reveal the country of origin of a product and suggest alternatives to ensure a "fair opportunity for domestic goods". Some of the new provisions align with India's similar federal policies "for social and digital media companies ... and will result in a more stringent e-commerce regime," USIBC said in its email.
Persons: Amit Dave, India's, USIBC, Aditya Kalra, Kenneth Maxwell Our Organizations: REUTERS, U.S . Chamber, Commerce, Reuters, India Business Council, Amazon, Walmart, Reliance Industries, Thomson Locations: Ahmedabad, India, DELHI, Washington, United States, New Delhi
Amazon’s lax policy on waste belongs in the bin
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Dasha Afanasieva | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
Unfortunately for the environment, Amazon’s (AMZN.O) chief executive seems to be taking his own advice too literally. UK broadcaster ITV has found the e-commerce group is destroying millions of unsold items in Britain alone. A former employee of the $1.8 trillion online marketplace said the weekly target for Amazon's Dunfermline warehouse was to destroy some 130,000 items a week. That recognises the importance of a sustainable economic system, and aims to minimise waste by redesigning products and operations to encourage re-use and recycling. Making transparent numerical disclosures on the waste of the products Amazon warehouses for third parties would be a good start.
Persons: Jeff Bezos reckons, Bezos, Boris Johnson, Ellen Macarthur, Peter Thal Larsen, Sharon Lam Organizations: LONDON, Reuters, ITV, Dunfermline, , Greenpeace, Amazon, Unilever, Danone, Ellen, Ellen Macarthur Foundation, ITV News, Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg Locations: Peterborough, Britain, Germany, France
Interest in podcasting continues to spikeIt was a busy week for podcasting startups and influencers looking to break into the format. And this week, Variety reported that Spotify is also working with Jemele Hill to launch a podcast network focused on putting a spotlight on the stories of Black women. signed , an Emmy-nominated creator, author, and host of the podcast "How to Citizen With Baratunde," Variety reported. Ziwe Fumudoh is set to develop a comedy series for Amazon , Variety reported. is set to develop a comedy series for , Variety reported.
Persons: WaitWhat, Alex Cooper, Cooper, Barstool, It's, Elizabeth Banks, Studio71, it's, Manny MUA, Laura Lee, Erika Nardini, Nardini, Dave Portnoy, TikToker Josh Richards, Baratunde Thurston, Tubefilter, VidCon, Todd Sherman, Ray Cao, Matt Peltier, Paresh Rajwat, Ben Relles, Connie Chan, Andreessen Horowitz, Read Organizations: Spotify, Service, Raga Partners, Chapter One Ventures, Barstool Sports, Variety, UTA, Amazon, YouTube, Community, Facebook Locations: TikTok
The data warehousing startup Firebolt announced Thursday that it raised $127 million in funding. While it faces massive competition, Firebolt believes the data warehousing market is huge. The data warehousing startup Firebolt, which aims to take on giants like Snowflake and Amazon Web Services, has raised a fresh round of funding, just six months after winning its Series A.Firebolt announced Thursday that it raised a $127 million Series B round, bringing its total funding to $164 million. And while Firebolt competes directly with Snowflake and cloud vendors like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft, Farkash says the cloud data warehouse market is huge. "If I would gamble on the market, I would gamble on that slice of the market," Farkash said.
Persons: Firebolt, it's, Farkash, Firebolt isn't Organizations: Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, Dawn Capital, K5, Zeev Ventures, TLV Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Angular Ventures Locations: Snowflake
The major public cloud providers — AWS, Google Cloud, IBM, and Microsoft Azure — are battling it out to win over financial institutions. Capital OneCapital One has been at the forefront of Wall Street's adoption of the public cloud, tapping AWS as its predominant cloud provider in 2016. GoHenryGoHenry, the UK-based neobank geared towards children and their parents, hosts some 99% of its services on Google Cloud, according to the startup's managed cloud provider Rackspace. The fintech tapped Google Cloud to run its core infrastructure (in addition to previously using Google Workspaces). The bank is pursuing a hybrid-cloud approach with applications equally split across the public cloud, private cloud, and UBS' mainframe infrastructure, according to Microsoft.
Persons: BMO Harris, Bruce Van Saun, FABRICE COFFRINI, Equifax, Bryson Koehler, GoHenry GoHenry, KeyBank KeyBank, KeyBank, PayPal PayPal, Shivananda, SEB, Howard Boville, Boville, Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley, eyeing, Morgan Stanley Organizations: Insider Finance, Service, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Bank, Wall, Amazon Web Services Bank of Montreal BMO's, BMO, Capital, Citizens Bank Citizens Bank, AWS, Santander, Openbank, Getty, CME Group, Group, Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank, PayPal, Associated Press IBM Bank of America Bank of America, of, Reuters Microsoft, BlackRock BlackRock, Tech, BlackRock, Financial Services, TD Bank Group Toronto, Bank Group, UBS, Australian Locations: Openbank, Madrid, Europe, AFP, Salt Lake City, UBS Swiss, Switzerland, Zurich, Geneva
Shopify has recently made partnerships with Google, Facebook, and Affirm. Shop Pay will be the first of its products to be made available to non-Shopify sellers. "By going off-platform, it's enabled them to better support merchants, not just specifically Shopify merchants, but to support merchants across any platform to be successful," Wong said. Plus, individual Shopify merchants are responsible for doing the marketing necessary to bring potential buyers to their businesses. By turning to partnerships with Google and Facebook, Shopify gives its merchants more exposure and increases its own ability to generate increased gross sales volume.
Persons: Shopify, BuzzFeed, Ken Wong, Wong, it's, Siti Panigrahi, Panigrahi Organizations: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Service, Guggenheim, Mizuho, Amazon . Locations: Mizuho Americas
Amazon sets record with new June Prime Day slot
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Adriana Nunez | ) www.businessinsider.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
Adobe Analytics estimates that total US ecommerce sales on Prime Day surpassed $11 billion. Amazon earned over $11 billion in total Prime Day retail ecommerce sales. Overall, US online revenue on Prime Day spiked 143% compared with an average June day. Last year, Amazon delayed its July Prime Day until October because of COVID-19. Amazon closed another successful Prime Day despite competing efforts from other retailers and looming unionization endeavors.
Persons: Brian Olsavsky Organizations: Adobe, Intelligence, Payments & Commerce, US, Insider Intelligence, Amazon, Walmart, Target, Brotherhood of Teamsters, , Wholesale, Department Store, Commerce Locations: Alabama
The global battle between Big Tech and regulators is on
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Julia Horowitz | Cnn Business | ) edition.cnn.com + 0.00   time to read: +7 min
What's happening: A House of Representatives committee just moved forward sweeping bills meant to rein in big tech companies likeand. Tech companies are lobbying hard against the US legislation, which could dramatically transform their businesses if enacted. This year's Amazon Prime Day broke recordsShoppers aren't showing any signs of getting tired of Amazon Prime Day, even though some sellers said they weren't planning to offer deals this year. The details: Prime members purchased more than 250 million items worldwide on Prime Day. Overall, online spending during the two-day event surpassed $11 billion, a 6.1% increase compared to last year's Prime Day held in October, according to Adobe Analytics.
Persons: Nicholas Hyett, Hargreaves Lansdown, Joe Biden, Lina Khan, WhatsApp, Hyett, Morgan Stanley, James Gorman, Gorman, they've, Goldman Sachs, Amazon AMZN, Nathaniel Meyersohn, Nike NKE Organizations: CNN Business, Bell, CNN, European Union, Google, Tech, Big Tech, Federal Trade Commission, Apple, Facebook, Wall, Financial Times, JPMorgan, Prime, Amazon, Adobe Analytics, Accenture, Darden, BlackBerry, FedEx, Nike Locations: London, United Kingdom, India, United States, New York, New York City, Westchester
Here are Thursday's biggest analyst calls of the day: Amazon, Nvidia, Walmart, PayPal, Apple & morePublished Thu, Jun 24 2021 8:13 AM EDT Updated 37 Min Ago
Organizations: Nvidia, Walmart, PayPal, Apple
BuzzFeed confirms its plans to go public through a merger.
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Edmund Lee | ) www.nytimes.com sentiment -0.98   time to read: +1 min
BuzzFeed, the digital media company, said it planned to go public through merger with a special purpose acquisition company. BuzzFeed has also lined up about $150 million in debt financing from a handful of investors, and says its implied valuation when the deal closes will be $1.5 billion. The company plans to acquire Complex Networks, which publishes websites and hosts events on food, sports and sneaker collecting. “Our model evolved,” Mr. Peretti said in an interview last year. In November, Mr. Peretti orchestrated BuzzFeed’s acquisition of HuffPost, the site he helped found with Arianna Huffington and the investor Kenneth Lerer.
Persons: BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti, Mr, Peretti, Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer Organizations: Avenue Partners, Complex Networks, Amazon, HuffPost
Ford loses chief technology officer to Amazon in industry battle over talent
  + stars: | 2021-06-24 | by ( Michael Wayland | ) www.cnbc.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
DETROIT – Ford Motor is losing its chief technology officer to Amazon, marking an ongoing talent battle between the automotive and technology industries. Ford confirmed Thursday that CTO Ken Washington, who joined Ford from Lockheed Martin in 2014, will be leaving the Detroit automaker effective July 16. He will join Amazon as vice president of software engineering in Sunnyvale, California, according to an internal employee memo provided by Ford. Washington's departure is a major blow for the automaker, which is accelerating billions of dollars in new investments for connected, electric and autonomous vehicles under a new turnaround plan by CEO Jim Farley. Jim Buczkowski, who has been responsible for research and design of electrical and electronic systems, will be taking on interim responsibility for Ford's research and advanced engineering team while a permanent successor for Washington is identified, according to the automaker.
Persons: Ken Washington, Lockheed Martin, Jim Farley, Jim Buczkowski Organizations: DETROIT, Ford, Lockheed, Detroit, Amazon Locations: Sunnyvale , California, Washington
This story is part of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which details how people around the world earn, spend and save their money. Plus, after they had Aiden, the family was traveling at least once a month to show him the world. Aiden, Ethan and Avery climb in the bunk bed in the Akpans' RV. $8,950 to 401(k)s for Karen and Sylvester ($3,250), and Roth IRAs for all three Akpans, including Aiden ($1,500). The family has always prioritized traveling, particularly international travel, and she had a knack for finding deals.
Persons: Karen Akpan, Sylvester, Aiden, Karen, Sylvester Akpan, Trotter, wasn't, Avery, Ethan, It's, Roth, Spotify Karen, Roth IRAs, we're Organizations: CNBC, Facebook, Hilton Hotels, Disney, Cal State Northridge, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Spotify, Corp, Adobe, YouTube Locations: Florida, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Colombia, South Carolina, Savannah , Georgia, California, U.S, Cameroon, Central Africa, American, Arizona , Nevada, Utah, New Orleans
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