By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel discussed ways to tighten antitrust laws on Thursday, with two Republicans on the Democrat-dominated panel indicating potential support for some changes.
The antitrust subcommittee, chaired by Representative David Cicilline, is expected to release a much-anticipated report into the four big tech companies — Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O>, Facebook Inc <FB.O>, Apple <APPL.O> and Alphabet’s Google <GOOGL.O> — as soon as Monday.
In the hearing, Cicilline said the tech companies used strategies such as self-preferencing and predatory pricing to grow. “These once-scrappy, underdog startups have grown into the kinds of monopolies we last saw more than a century ago,” he said.
One witness, Bill Baer, who headed the Justice Department Antitrust Division during the Obama administration, argued to the committee that successive court rulings over the years have made it harder to block a merger.
Photo: Olivier Hoslet, AP
BRUSSELS — Almost 500 days after Belgian parliamentary elections, seven parties from both sides of the linguistic aisle agreed early Wednesday on forming a fully functioning majority government that will center on dealing with the pandemic and its devastating economic impact.
A final negotiating session that lasted almost 24 hours found agreement on a common budget and had only one issue left to decide: who would succeed Sophie Wilmes as prime minister. The seven parties consist of Liberals, Socialists and Greens, divided into separate linguistic entities, and the Dutch-speaking Christian Democrats.
“The big political hurdles are behind us and I am happy we were able to forge a program with seven partners,” said Christian Democrat negotiator Servais Verherstraeten.
Led by Dutch-speaking Liberal Alexander De Croo and francophone Socialist Paul Magnette, the parties found money to fund new initiatives like a higher minimum pension and improved public services, while hoping to
- Wall Street is finally accepting diminished chances for a near-term stimulus deal, and firms’ latest GDP forecasts reflect growing pessimism toward the economy’s chances without fresh aid.
- Goldman Sachs halved its GDP growth forecast to 3% on Wednesday. JPMorgan followed suit one day after, cutting its estimate to 2.5% from 3.5%.
- Morgan Stanley and Bank of America trimmed their expectations earlier in the month. All four of the Wall Street giants cited an absence of new fiscal relief for their gloomier outlooks.
- Still, some hope for a spending package emerged Thursday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said new stimulus is “still needed,” and top Democrats rolled out a new $2.4 trillion proposal that could be voted on as early as next week.
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With the US economic recovery slowing and stimulus still stuck in a legislative deadlock, Wall Street is