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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.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: Unvaccinated kids must wear masks in school this fall — CDC says schools should still universally require masks and physical distancing.
  2. Politics: New York to lift mask mandate for vaccinated people — CDC director says politics didn't play a role in abrupt mask policy shift.
  3. Vaccines: Sanofi, GSK COVID vaccine shows strong immune response in phase 2 trials — Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects.
  4. Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated — Target, CVS and other stores ease mask requirements after CDC guidance.
  5. World: Taiwan raises COVID-19 alert level amid surge in cases — Biden administration to send 20 million U.S.-authorized vaccine doses abroad.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
2 hours ago - World

Biden backs Gaza ceasefire for first time in call with Netanyahu

Biden with Netanyahu in 2010. Photo: Debbi Hill/Pool/ Getty Images

President Biden expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in a call on Thursday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement.

Why it matters: This is the first time since the beginning of the crisis last Monday that Biden or anyone in his administration has publicly backed a ceasefire. It will increase pressure on Israel to seek an end to the conflict, which Netanyahu has insisted will continue until Hamas' ability to attack Israel is further degraded.