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Companies' collection and use of data could raise competitive concerns, the Justice Department's antitrust chief argued Friday in a speech about data's role at the intersection of Big Tech and antitrust.

Why it matters: The DOJ is conducting an antitrust review of tech companies' practices, and antitrust division head Makan Delrahim said that includes studying the role of data.

What they're saying: Delrahim acknowledged that data collection is not necessarily anticompetitive, but made it clear that he views it as an antitrust concern.

  • He said areas up for consideration include whether the scale of data collection has increased by "several magnitudes," the type of data collected and what it means when companies collect both user data and usage data, which cannot be easily replicated.
  • "Most notably, enforcers must confront the reality that data insights in the digital economy are combined across the ecosystem of the internet sometimes in ways that transcend product improvement and impact consumer choice altogether," Delrahim said, according to prepared remarks for a speech at an antitrust conference at Harvard Law School.

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Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court blocks Alabama curbside voting measure

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday evening blocked a lower court order that would have allowed voters to cast ballots curbside at Alabama polling places on Election Day.

Whit it matters: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the justices voted 5-3 to reinstate the curbside voting ban and overturn a lower court judge's ruling designed to protect people with disabilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.

U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information that can be used to undermine confidence in the U.S. election system, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The revelation comes roughly two weeks before Election Day. Ratcliffe said Iran has sent threatening emails to Democratic voters this week in states across the U.S. and spread videos claiming that people can vote more than once.

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