The review site is launching an index tracking shady reviews on its platform. Reviews 

Yelp Launches List of Businesses Caught Buying Fake Reviews

Yelp has uncovered almost 5,000 businesses involved in deceptive practices such as offering incentives for positive ratings or employing individuals to fabricate reviews since 2012. Presently, the company has introduced a new feature to assist users, and potentially authorities, in identifying businesses that have attempted to manipulate their reputation on the review platform. Yelp is releasing a new index that tracks every US establishment it’s ever caught engaging in “suspicious” behavior to influence its ratings. The company has made some of this information available in the past. Yelp sends temporary…

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The decision comes ahead of a possible antitrust suit. News 

Amazon Reportedly Slashing Majority of Its Private Label Clothing Lines

Amazon is reportedly planning to scale back its in-house brands amidst the possibility of an FTC antitrust lawsuit. The Wall Street Journal has revealed that the company intends to discontinue 27 out of its 30 clothing brands and all of its private-label furniture lines. While the extent of the cuts in other areas remains uncertain, it seems that the Amazon Basics brand will largely remain unaffected. The retailer stated that it aims to remove products that are not appealing to customers. Among the Amazon clothing brands reportedly being discontinued are…

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The agency kicked off the reportedly wide-ranging probe in 2019. News 

Amazon to Hold Talks with FTC Ahead of Antitrust Lawsuit Possibility

According to reports, Amazon is set to have a meeting with the FTC next week ahead of a potential antitrust lawsuit against the e-commerce giant. The New York Times states that FTC chair Lina Khan and commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya will engage in discussions with Amazon representatives as the agency approaches a decision on whether to take legal action against the company for violating antimonopoly regulations. This scheduled meeting is seen as a crucial opportunity for Amazon to convince the FTC to reconsider before proceeding with a…

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The organization is facing an FTC investigation. AI 

OpenAI’s Trust and Safety Lead Departs

Dave Willner, OpenAI’s trust and safety lead, has stepped down from his position, as confirmed in a post on Linkedin. Although he will continue to serve in an advisory capacity, Willner has encouraged his Linkedin followers to contact him regarding any relevant opportunities. He explained that his decision to leave was driven by a desire to dedicate more time to his family. Despite the common cliché, Willner provided specific details to support his reasoning. “In the months since the launch of ChatGPT, I have found it increasingly difficult to stay…

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The move opens the door for the agency and companies to hold talks over a settlement. Gaming 

FTC Pauses Investigation into Microsoft-Activision Merger

The administrative trial between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, regarding their pending acquisition, has been officially postponed by the Federal Trade Commission. According to Bloomberg‘s initial report, this decision enables the agency and the companies involved to engage in discussions regarding a potential settlement for the massive $68.7 billion merger. The FTC’s decision to stay the case is another big win for Microsoft and Activision as they try to get the deal over the line. The agency sued to block the deal in December, and an evidentiary hearing in the case…

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Microsoft urges appeals court to reject FTC's request to pause $69 billion Activision deal, citing litigation disagreement over impact on gamers News 

Microsoft Challenges FTC’s Request to Block Activision’s USD 69B Acquisition

On Friday, Microsoft strongly urged an appeals court to dismiss the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) plea to halt its $69 billion acquisition of Activision, using harsh language at times. Late Thursday, the agency asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to require the companies to delay the deal while the court examines the FTC’s broader appeal. Microsoft said Friday that the agency had been slow to file in federal court, and therefore it was inappropriate to push for a delay so late in the game. “The court should not…

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Microsoft and Activision Blizzard are free to close their merger as early as Saturday. Gaming 

Court of Appeals Denies FTC’s Request to Block Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision

The Federal Trade Commission’s final attempt to halt Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard has been unsuccessful. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the agency’s request for an emergency stay on a ruling that permits the deal to move forward in the United States. The temporary injunction was put in place last month to prevent Microsoft and Activision from closing the deal until Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley rules on the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction. When Corley rejected the FTC’s request for an injunction this week,…

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The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating OpenAI over false information and mishandling user data in its ChatGPT app. OpenAI to cooperate with the probe AI 

US Regulators Investigating OpenAI for Possible Consumer Harm Caused by ChatGPT App

OpenAI, supported by Microsoft, is currently under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to assess the potential negative impact of its widely used ChatGPT app on consumers. The investigation aims to determine if the app generates false information and if OpenAI’s technology mishandles user data. OpenAI received a detailed 20-page questionnaire from the FTC, requesting information about instances where users were wrongly criticized and any measures taken by the company to prevent such occurrences in the future. The US regulatory authority’s investigation was first reported by The Washington…

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The agency wants to know if the AI company is violating consumer protection laws. AI 

FTC Launches Probe into OpenAI, Developer of ChatGPT

The US regulators are intensifying their efforts to regulate generative AI. According to The Washington Post, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated a probe into OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT and DALL-E. The FTC has asked for documentation demonstrating how OpenAI addresses the potential risks associated with its extensive language AI models. The concern is that the company might be engaging in practices that are “unfair or deceptive,” potentially compromising the privacy, security, or reputation of the public. The commission is particularly interested in data related to the bug…

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The US FTC appeals federal judge's ruling on Microsoft's $69 billion Activision Blizzard purchase. Find out more about the legal battle. News 

US Regulator to Contest Microsoft-Activision Merger Following Court Decision

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced its intention to challenge a federal judge’s decision allowing Microsoft to proceed with its acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the creator of “Call of Duty.” The appeal will be presented to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the West Coast, although no specific information regarding the appeal was provided in the filing. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Francisco on Tuesday rejected the Biden administration’s argument that the deal would…

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The fight's not over yet. Gaming 

FTC Challenges Decision That Would Allow Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision to Progress

The Federal Trade Commission is persisting in its efforts to block Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, valued at $68.7 billion. The agency has filed an appeal against Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley’s decision to reject their request for a temporary injunction to halt the completion of the deal. The FTC has sued to prevent the merger from happening on antitrust grounds. The administrative trial starts in August, but the deadline for the merger of the companies is July 18. The agency was concerned that Microsoft and Activision would close their…

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The companies may close the deal in the coming days, despite opposition from UK and US regulators. Gaming 

Judge Denies FTC’s Request to Block Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision

Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has denied the Federal Trade Commission’s plea for a preliminary injunction to halt Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. In the event that the injunction was granted, both Microsoft and Activision had expressed their intention to withdraw from the significant merger. “This court’s responsibility in this case is narrow. It is to decide whether the merger should be halted — perhaps even terminated — despite these current circumstances, pending resolution of the FTC’s administrative action,” Corley wrote in the decision. “For the reasons explained,…

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The announcement comes after Microsoft beat back the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction against the deal. Gaming 

Microsoft and UK Regulators Enter Talks to Resolve Dispute Over Activision Acquisition

The Federal Trade Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction to halt Microsoft’s $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard was denied by a US federal judge. However, Microsoft and the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have decided to pause their legal dispute and engage in negotiations to potentially reach a compromise that would enable the deal to proceed. “Following today’s court decision in the US, our focus now turns back to the UK. While we ultimately disagree with the CMA’s concerns, we are considering how the deal could be…

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The agency is also taking aim at phony social media metrics. Reviews 

FTC to Impose Heavy Penalties on Companies for Utilizing False Reviews

If the proposed rule by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is implemented, it would formally prohibit the use of fake reviews and testimonials. Additionally, companies would be barred from artificially boosting their social media metrics by employing fake followers and views. This is not the first time that the agency has become familiar with false reviews. In its first such case in 2019, it fined a third-party Amazon seller for paying for fake reviews (Amazon itself has sued providers of fake reviews). Earlier this year, the FTC fined the owner…

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It will, however, continue its close relationship with Microsoft. Gaming 

Sega’s COO Declares Company Not Open to Acquisition

Sega’s Chief Operating Officer, Shuji Utsumi, has stated that the company is not up for sale. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Utsumi clarified that Sega is currently not considering any acquisition discussions, despite widespread rumors suggesting that Microsoft may intervene and merge Sonic and Master Chief. Some of these rumors surfaced due to the general trend of consolidation in the gaming industry, with big fish gobbling up everything in sight. Microsoft is one of the bigger fish and it’s been many years since Sega took the gaming throne despite…

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An internal Microsoft email has surfaced during the ongoing FTC hearing, which suggests that Microsoft previously wanted to use its purchasing power and cash reserves—essentially “go spend Sony out of business” News 

Microsoft Internal Email Shows Plan To Outspend Sony In Xbox Business

During the ongoing FTC hearing, an internal email from Microsoft has been revealed, indicating that the company had plans to use its purchasing power and cash reserves to make Xbox more dominant by “spending Sony out of business.” This email is also part of a parallel lawsuit at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court. According to The Verge, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty sent an email to Xbox CFO Tim Stuart in 2019 suggesting spending on acquiring game studios so Xbox could better compete with rival PlayStation for subscriptions. “We…

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The company supposedly made it difficult to cancel service, too. News 

FTC Accuses Amazon of Deceptive Practices to Obtain Prime Subscriptions

Amazon is facing further legal action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) despite recently settling two cases. The FTC has filed a lawsuit against the online retailer, accusing it of deceiving customers into signing up for Prime and making it difficult for them to cancel. The FTC claims that Amazon violated the FTC Act and Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act by using misleading designs to obtain Prime registrations without genuine consent. The agency also alleges that Amazon deliberately impeded efforts to simplify the cancellation process by delaying or rejecting design…

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This is on top of a lawsuit also meant to prevent the merger. Gaming 

FTC to Take Legal Action to Prevent Microsoft from Acquiring Activision Blizzard

According to a source from CNBC, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is said to be preparing to file for an injunction to stop the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard merger before the July 18th deadline. The FTC is already suing to block the acquisition, but this new move would prevent the deal from closing as planned. We’ve reached out to the FTC and Microsoft for comment. Microsoft tells CNBC that the ban will bring the case before a federal judge earlier. In previous statements, Microsoft has played down the deal, insisting that Activision…

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