Feb 10, 2019

Attorney for David Pecker denies National Enquirer blackmailed Bezos

Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that the incident between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the National Enquirer does not amount to extortion or blackmail: "It's absolutely not a crime to ask someone to simply tell the truth."

The backdrop: Bezos published a lengthy Medium post on Thursday alleging that the National Enquirer threatened to publish nude photos of him and journalist Lauren Sanchez. The threat allegedly came after Bezos launched an investigation into the magazine's political motives, including actions it has taken on behalf of the Trump administration and the Saudi government. Some have speculated that if found guilty of extortion, AMI may have violated its plea deal with the Southern District of New York.

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The polarized pandemic election

A Trump supporter protests Pennsylvania's stay-at-home order, during a May 15 rally outside the Capitol in Harrisburg. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Trump is going all-in on pushing for a rapid, robust return to normal life, creating a visual, visceral contrast with Joe Biden and other Democrats who are more reticent to rip the masks off.

The state of play: Business friends have been urging Trump from the beginning to keep the lockdowns short. He's listening more and more.

Tech's long hot summer of antitrust

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google, Facebook and other tech giants face a summer of regulatory grilling as long-running investigations into potential anticompetitive practices likely come to a head.

The big picture: Probes into the power of Big Tech launched by federal and state authorities are turning a year old, and observers expect action in the form of formal lawsuits and potentially damning reports — even as the companies have become a lifeline for Americans during the pandemic lockdown.

Palantir CEO hits Silicon Valley "monoculture," may leave California

Palantir is "getting close" to a decision on whether to move the company out of California, CEO Alex Karp said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

The state of play: "We haven't picked a place yet, but it's going to be closer to the East Coast than the West Coast. ... If I had to guess, I would guess something like Colorado."