Investigation centers around agreement for Apple to carry Audible titles
The German Federal Cartel Office, which handles antitrust investigations, is looking into the agreement between Amazon and Apple by which the latter purchases audiobooks from Amazon-owned Audible for sale in iTunes. While there is no suggestion yet that either company is doing anything wrong, the office appears to be concerned that the arrangement has resulted in such a strong market position as to potentially be anti-competitive, and thus in need of a closer look.
Investigation into EU tax-avoidance schemes to be ruled upon within weeks
An investigation into the tax-related finances of Apple in Europe will be completed by the end of this year, according to Ireland's finance minister. Michael Noon advised earlier today that the investigation by European Union regulators into whether or not Apple and other major multinational companies have benefited from using "illegal tax sweeteners" on the continent will be ruled upon in the coming weeks, one that could potentially cost companies millions.
New subscription service did nothing to interfere with rivals, investigation found
An investigation into whether Apple's deals with major record labels did anything to hurt or impede its competition has concluded that no such collusion took place, according to a new report from the European Commission. The body said it would continue to monitor the streaming industry overall, but cleared Apple Music of any alleged wrongdoing.
Comparison shopping, Android app bundling complains issued by European Commission
Google's relationship with the European Commission (EC) has worsened, after the regulator made two antitrust-related announcements. It has formally objected to the way Google gives more prominence in search results to its own shopping comparison services than competitors, and has also opened up a separate formal investigation over Android and its bundling of Google apps.
New information yields the possibility of at least one ex-employee playing a role
The saga of "who really stole all that data from Sony" continues, in spite of the FBI's adherence to its findings that North Korea alone was responsible. Independent investigations by security organizations have expanded the suspect list to include ex-employees, while net vandals Lizard Squad have, in their continuing quest for attention, claimed partial credit.
Needs more time to review and approve, but 'pleading cycle' remains unaffected
In spite of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' assertions earlier this month that the merger with Time Warner Cable (TWC) is going along smoothly, the FCC has paused the informal 180-day clock on its investigation into the merger, due to a total of roughly 38,000 documents submitted by TWC beyond its deadline, and after the FCC had believed it was finished with that part of its investigation into the merger.
Note-holders want settlement hearing postponed, access to internal documents
[Update: Judge has delayed settlement hearing until December 10] Other creditors left holding the bag after the surprise bankruptcy of GT Advanced Technologies are crying foul over the proposed settlement between Apple and the sapphire-making company, which is due to be ruled on at a hearing next week. Note-holders such as Aristeia Capital have complained to the court that charges from GT Advanced executives that claim a "bait and switch" arrangement from Apple that forced the company into bankruptcy require investigation, and "call into question the adequacy" of the proposed settlement.
Gathers consumer testimony after drugstore chains reverse support, bar NFC-based options
A legal firm out of San Francisco is soliciting consumer stories and testimony as part of its investigation into the sudden decision by drugstore chains Rite Aid and CVS to deliberately disable Apple Pay (and other NFC-based payment systems) less than a week after the technologies' rollout -- even though the chains have previously accepted those and other e-wallets. The firm says it is considering a potential class-action to restore Apple Pay and other competitors to the stores.
DOJ could be reluctant to pursue criminal charges after criticism in other cases
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reportedly identified a "second leaker" that has been passing sensitive government information to journalists for months. While the subject isn't named, the FBI recently conducted a search of a government contractor's home believed to be tied to the leak of classified documents regarding government watch-lists. In addition to the search, federal prosecutors in North Virginia initiated a criminal investigation.
No mandatory recall taking place as long as small adjustments made by company
Health band maker Fitbit offered a statement last week on the findings of an investigation into the Force fitness wristband. The company decided to voluntarily pull the device from store shelves in February 2014, as it was thought to be causing rashes on the wrists of users. CEO James Park took to the company's webpage to give an update on the independent testing and other findings from medical experts, confirming what was said in the preliminary tests in February.
Enquiry expands as throttling 'expands to a business issue' rather than technical hurdle
The FCC has decided to expand its investigation into Verizon's recently-announced changes in "unlimited" data for subscribers into a full review of the entire US cellular industries network management policies, with a particular focus on "throttling" policies and how they are implemented, particularly for customers still on an "unlimited" data plan. The agency is even questioning carriers about why it would need throttling policies on more-efficient LTE networks at all.
Visit tied to investigation, Microsoft states that it will cooperate with officials
Officials from the China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) showed up at four Microsoft offices in the country unannounced earlier today. Offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai received the sudden visits, that could be tied to the start of an antitrust investigation for a presently-unknown reason. The visits come at a time when Microsoft faces scrutiny in the country, over spying allegations and government refusal of Windows 8.
Dongguan Shinyang Electronics investigation causes company to temporarily halt business
Samsung announced today that it has suspended business with Dongguan Shinyang Electronics after an investigation into child labor practices. Samsung launched an investigation after a July 10 accusation by watchdog group China Labor Watch that it found evidence of child labor at the factory, which supplies Samsung.
Companies accused of limiting online sales
European Commission agents have reportedly raided corporate offices of Samsung, Philips and retail giant Media-Saturn, as part of an investigation over improper price manipulation, according to a Reuters report. Regulators believe the companies may have colluded to limit online distribution in an attempt to artificially inflate prices.
No laws broken, no action to be taken as foreign sales mount
The SEC investigation of Apple's foreign cash holdings and whether the company was dodging -- legally or otherwise -- any tax responsibility to the US has closed with the agency planning to take no further action on the matter. Following somewhat fiery hearings in Congress that some say used Apple as a scapegoat for the wider issues of US companies taking advantages of tax loopholes -- which Congress inserted into the tax code in the first place -- the agency appears to have found Apple doing nothing wrong within the boundaries of the current law.
Charges of widespread monitoring follow discovery of Verizon NSA data collection
Just a day after respected UK newspaper The Guardian reported that a leaked secret US court order showed that the National Security Agency (NSA) was harvesting millions of phone records and "telephony metadata" from Verizon customers, a new report from The Guardian and the Washington Post has charged that the NSA is further using a secret program called PRISM to harvest usage data from the internal servers of most of America's major tech companies -- including Apple, Google, Microsoft and many others.
End result of probe unclear; no laws likely broken
According to a report at the New York Times, and confirmed by our own sources, the Congressional investigation in to the accounting practices of technology companies with offshore properties used as tax havens is drawing to a close. The year-old investigation involves a minimum of seven large technology companies, including Apple, Google, HP, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
New audits ordered, scheduled to be complete by the end of 2012
Samsung Electronics said that it plans on inspecting 250 Chinese parts manufacturers to ensure no labor laws are broken. The move comes following a US-based group's claim that one of Samsung's suppliers is using child labor. Samsung said it would conduct inspections for 105 supplier companies by the end of September, and conclude the investigations on the rest of the manufacturers by inspecting hiring paperwork by the end of the year.
Cause of smoking iPhone on flight revealed in investigation
An iPhone that started smoking on a flight to Sydney last November has been explained. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau conducted the investigation and found that a misplaced screw within the handset had punctured the battery casing. The resulting short circuit caused the battery to overheat and start smoking. According to the ATSB, the screw was misplaced by an unauthorized service center during a screen replacement. Although no one was hurt during the flight from the faulty handset, the chief comissioner of the ATSB, Martin Dolan, warned passengers to carry electronic devices in the cabin and to not store them with checked-in baggage.
Olympus scrambles to restore public trust
The once proud Japanese camera and medical equipment maker Olympus is readying to take legal action against its own executives. Any executive found to have been complicit in its multi-million dollar accounting scandal will be hit with legal action as well as possible criminal complaints, according to Reuters. The company has been reeling since admitting that it used advisory fees to cover up investment losses made in the 1990s to avoid reporting them in its financial results.