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Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission will brief the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee today on the antitrust cases against Google and Facebook, according to a memo seen by Axios.

What's happening: Staff for members of the antitrust subcommittee will be briefed by phone by the DOJ and FTC on the suits Wednesday afternoon.

  • On Thursday, the subcommittee is holding an hearing on competition and the "gatekeeper power" of dominant tech firms.

Why it matters: The agencies are keeping lawmakers who work on tech antitrust issues in the loop as their cases move slowly along, signaling that the change in administration didn't prevent forward progress.

Background: The Federal Trade Commission sued Facebook in December, accusing it of illegally stifling competition by buying up its rivals. The Justice Department sued Google over an alleged search monopoly last October.

  • Those cases are ongoing, as are a number of suits against the two companies filed by state attorneys general. Google and Facebook have denied all claims of illegal behavior.
  • The House Judiciary Committee has been examining tech antitrust since last year, with Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook CEOs testifying on the Hill last July.

What's next: The committee is holding a series of hearings on competition after issuing a sweeping report with recommendations for legislation last year.

Go deeper

Feb 23, 2021 - Technology

Facebook strikes last-minute deal with Australia around news content


Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook on Monday said it had struck a deal with Australian lawmakers to pay local publishers for their news content, after the government finally agreed to change some of the terms within its new media code.

Why it matters: The agreement ends Facebook's temporary ban on sharing news links on its platform in the country. Data showed that the link-sharing ban caused news traffic to plummet in the region.

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.