The EU has launched an investigation into whether Amazon is violating competition law.
The news: The EU is conducting a preliminary inquiry into how Amazon uses data from sellers in its online marketplace. It will look at whether Amazon’s dual role as both merchant and platform is anti-competitive—for example, whether the company could be using data from sellers to undercut them. Amazon did not comment.
Background: European Union commissioner Margrethe Vestager has a fearsome reputation in Europe. She fined Google $5 billion in July and in 2016 ruled Apple must hand over $16 billion in back taxes to the Irish government, which it finally paid this week.
Is this needed? Amazon will account for half of all online sales in the US by the end of 2018. Only time will tell whether it can be deemed to have broken competition rules, but its sheer size means it’s attracting growing attention from antitrust authorities.
Could the US follow suit? The US and the EU interpret competition differently. The US tends to focus on whether the company’s behavior is pushing up prices for consumers. The EU has a broader remit to investigate companies deemed to have a “dominant position” in a market.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.