Biden Asks Asian Countries to Release Oil Reserves as Administration Scrambles to Combat High Gas Prices: Report

Joe Biden

The Biden administration asked China, Japan, South Korea and India to tap into their emergency oil reserves as the president continues to grapple with rising gasoline prices, Reuters reported.

The effort to simultaneously release oil reserves represents a rebuke of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the cartel that controls oil production throughout the Middle East, several anonymous sources familiar with the request told Reuters on Wednesday. OPEC has repeatedly rejected requests from President Joe Biden and other top administration officials to increase oil production amid rising gasoline prices.

The four Asian nations the president appealed to represent some of the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters, according to a University of Oxford database.

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Facebook Fined Nearly $70 Million After Ignoring UK Government Orders

Facebook’s seemingly-unending stream of bad publicity continued this week, when it was fined nearly $70 million by the United Kingdom for what is being described as a deliberate lack of compliance into an anti-trust investigation. 

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy for nearly a year, and ordered the company to produce information “required information related to an initial enforcement order (IEO) placed on it by the watchdog, despite repeated requests for it to do so,” according to TechCrunch. 

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U.S. Files New Complaint Against Facebook over Monopoly Concerns

The U.S. government amended its antitrust complaint against Facebook on Thursday, bolstering allegations that the tech company illegally maintained a monopoly.

The amended complaint follows the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) dismissed December 2020 complaint which failed to adequately prove the tech giant’s monopoly in the “Personal Social Networking Services” market.

The FTC alleges that Facebook illegally acquired competitors WhatsApp and Instagram in order to stifle competition, maintaining monopoly power by preventing competitors from operating on Facebook software.

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Commentary: The Federal Trade Commission Shouldn’t Be a Lawless Agency

The Federal Trade Commission has been on the march.  Over the past month, the Commission has held two “open” meetings, rescinded two major bipartisan agreements by party-line vote, and positioned itself to write regulations for the first time in decades.

In the words of a former commissioner, the current FTC is “Icarus flying without the constraints of history, economics, or law.”  He predicts that its “regulatory overreach…will end with the FTC’s wings melting in the courts.”

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Facebook Files Petition Demanding FTC Chair Lina Khan Recuse Herself From Antitrust Case

Lina Khan Facebook Headquarters

Facebook filed a petition Wednesday asking for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from the FTC’s antitrust case against the company.

The tech giant argued in the petition that Khan’s public statements, in which she suggested Facebook’s conduct constituted an antitrust offense, violated the company’s due process rights.

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Amazon Demands Recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chair from Any Antitrust Investigations

Federal Trade Commission

Tech giant Amazon recently demanded that the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission be recused from any antitrust investigations into the company, according to the Daily Caller.

Amazon filed the petition with the FTC on Wednesday, accusing Chairwoman Lina Khan of being biased due to the fact that she “has, on numerous occasions, argued that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up.” The petition continued by declaring that “these statements convey to any reasonable observer the clear impression that she has already made up her mind about many material facts relevant to Amazon’s antitrust culpability as well as about the ultimate issue of culpability itself.”

The FTC is already conducting several antitrust investigations, including against Amazon; their most recent efforts are focusing on Amazon’s possible acquisition of the film studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), a purchase of nearly $9 billion announced last month.

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