U.S., EU advocacy groups warn against Google’s purchase of Fitbit

WASHINGTON – Twenty advocacy groups from the United States, Europe, Latin America and elsewhere signed a statement Wednesday urging regulators to be wary of Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker company Fitbit Inc because of privacy and competition concerns. The 20 organizations – which include the U.S.-based Public Citizen, Access Now from Europe and the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense – argued that the deal would expand the already considerable clout in digital markets…

"U.S., EU advocacy groups warn against Google’s purchase of Fitbit"

U.S. Senator Cruz will block EPA nomination over biofuels costs to refiners

NEW YORK – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said on Wednesday he would block the nomination of an Environmental Protection Agency official until the agency brings stability to the rising costs borne by oil refiners for complying with U.S. biofuel blending laws. Cruz, a Republican from Texas, follows a similar statement from Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, who said last week she would block Doug Benevento’s nomination for EPA deputy administrator. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration engaged…

"U.S. Senator Cruz will block EPA nomination over biofuels costs to refiners"

U.S. tech chief executives expected to testify before House panel in late July

WASHINGTON – The chief executives of the four U.S. tech giants — Amazon.com, Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Apple — will testify before the U.S. Congress in late July as part of an ongoing antitrust probe into the companies, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai of Google and Apple’s Tim Cook will appear as part of the probe by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust…

"U.S. tech chief executives expected to testify before House panel in late July"

Biden says new China national security law a ‘death blow,’ weighs sanctions

– Democrat Joe Biden on Wednesday threatened new economic sanctions on China if he is elected U.S. president, calling its new security law imposed on Hong Kong a “death blow” to the territory’s freedom. Biden, who has a lead in national opinion polls ahead of his Nov. 3 election fight against President Donald Trump, said Beijing was “acting with impunity” when it unveiled new laws for Hong Kong that would punish crimes of secession, subversion,…

"Biden says new China national security law a ‘death blow,’ weighs sanctions"

Trump says he wants larger direct payments to Americans: Fox Business

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he supports another round of economic stimulus and wants to provider larger direct payments to Americans, as well as incentives to work, to be part of it. “We want to create a very great incentive to work. So, we’re working on that and I’m sure we’ll all come together,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network. “I want the money getting to people to…

"Trump says he wants larger direct payments to Americans: Fox Business"

House considering Wednesday vote on Senate-passed business loan program: Hoyer

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives is considering whether to hold a vote on Wednesday on a Senate-approved extension of a $660 billion lending program in an effort to help small businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. The Democratic leader said the House is trying to determine whether the money is needed immediately but has not received requested information from the Trump administration. A decision…

"House considering Wednesday vote on Senate-passed business loan program: Hoyer"

Police raid Wirecard HQ as administrator kicks off asset sales

FRANKFURT – Police and public prosecutors raided Wirecard’s headquarters in Munich and four properties in German and Austria on Wednesday as they widened their investigation into the financial payments company that collapsed last week. Wirecard filed for insolvency last week owing creditors almost $4 billion after disclosing a 1.9 billion euro ($2.1 billion) hole in its accounts that its auditor EY said was the result of a sophisticated global fraud. The implosion of a financial…

"Police raid Wirecard HQ as administrator kicks off asset sales"

Turkish competition board launches probe into Audi, Porsche, VW, Mercedes-Benz and BMW

ISTANBUL – The Turkish Competition Board said on Wednesday that it launched an investigation into German carmakers Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW to determine whether they violated competition law. The competition board said findings regarding claims on the companies’ actions on security cooperation, environment cooperation and sharing competition-sensitive information were determined to be adequate to start an investigation.

"Turkish competition board launches probe into Audi, Porsche, VW, Mercedes-Benz and BMW"

Bank of England gives banks 18 months to manage climate risks

LONDON – Banks and insurers in Britain must implement by the end of 2021 plans they have drawn up to deal with risks to their businesses from climate change, the Bank of England (BoE) said on Wednesday. The BoE previously told firms to establish a plan by October 2019 to mitigate climate-related risks, such as rising flood claims, or risks caused by a shift to net-zero emissions that will hit investments in activities with heavy…

"Bank of England gives banks 18 months to manage climate risks"