Kim Hart Jul 5
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Google may face another record EU fine


European antitrust regulators are mulling another sizable fine against Google over its Android operating system and are seeking a second opinion from a panel of experts, Reuters reports. If the outside panel agrees with the regulators' conclusions, the European Commission could be on its way to issuing a decision against Google by the end of the year.

It's expected to top the record $2.7 billion (2.4 billion euro) fine the commission slapped Google with last month for allegedly favoring its own shopping service over rivals.

Why it matters: The money — albeit a lot of money — isn't that big a deal for Google. The fact that the EU is aggressively taking action over its dominance in multiple areas spells trouble ahead for dominant U.S.-based tech platforms that do significant business in Europe. In addition, the commission (which is also investigating Google's AdSense platform) has paved the way for companies who claim to be hurt by the search giant to bring cases against it.

The backstory: Last April, the EC charged Google with using its dominant Android mobile operating system to disadvantage competitors. The commission accused Google of requiring smartphone manufacturers to pre-install its search engine and browser, for example.The move came after complaints by advocacy group FairSearch, U.S.-based ad-blocking firm Disconnect, Portuguese app store Aptoide and Russian search engine Yandex.

Mike Allen 4 hours ago
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A White House olive branch: no plan to fire Mueller

Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

After a weekend at war with the Mueller investigation, the White House is extending an olive branch. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the probe, plans to issue this statement:

“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Why it matters: The White House strategy had been to cooperate with Mueller. So this is an effort to turn down the temperature after a weekend of increasingly personal provocations aimed at the special counsel.

Jonathan Swan 6 hours ago
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Trump's trade plan that would blow up the WTO

President Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum earlier this month, flanked by Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer, and Peter Navarro. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

For months, President Donald Trump has been badgering his economic advisors to give him broad, unilateral authority to raise tariffs — a move that would all but break the World Trade Organization.

His favorite word: “reciprocal.” He’s always complaining to staff about the fact that the U.S. has much lower tariffs on some foreign goods than other countries have on the same American-made goods. The key example is cars: The European Union has a 10 percent tariff on all cars, including those manufactured in America, and China hits all foreign-made cars with 25 percent tariffs. But the U.S. only charges 2.5 percent for foreign cars we import.