Tech wrap: Google probed

June 24, 2011

U.S. antitrust regulators started a formal investigation into whether Google abuses its market power by favoring its own services over those of rivals in online searches and through other practices. The company has been accused of anticompetitive practices by other companies doing business online. “It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand,” Google said on its official blog. “Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that if we focus on the user all else will follow.”

“Typically less than one out of every 10 investigations lead to enforcement. This investigation faces daunting odds,” said David Balto, a former FTC policy director.”The complaints presented to the FTC are from disgruntled advertisers, not consumers. That is not a strong foundation to an antitrust case.”

Private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake are in talks to buy Internet domain site GoDaddy.com and a deal could be more than $2 billion, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Hackers breached an Electronic Arts website and may have taken user information such as birth dates, phone numbers and mailing addresses, the company said on its website. The video game publisher said the attack, which hit a server for EA’s Bioware studio in Edmonton, Canada, was associated with the fantasy game “Neverwinter Nights.” The company said no credit card data or social security numbers were taken but other sensitive information may have been breached.

Lulz Security, the hackers who previously broke into a U.S. Senate server and brought down the CIA website, struck an Arizona police website, releasing dozens of internal documents over the Internet. The group, saying it opposed a tough anti-immigration law in Arizona, said it was releasing documents that related to border control and other law enforcement activities. Its headline was “Chinga La Migra,” Spanish for a more profane way of saying “Screw the Immigration Service.” It released about a half a gigabyte of data, including account names, passwords and contact information for several people. Reuters was able to reach two of them to establish that they were accurate.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss pushed ahead with another suit against Facebook, a day after they decided not to appeal a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding their $65 million settlement with Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg. The twins and their business partner, Divya Narendra, said they would move the court for discovery on whether Facebook “intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence” during settlement proceedings over claims that Zuckerberg stole their idea for a college social networking website.

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[...] [1] Tech wrap: Google probed [2] Electronic Arts’ Message Board Server Hacked [3] EA is latest target of hack attack [4] [...]