News digest 02.11.2020

Google Chrome tests Shopping Ads on new tab page

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A new feature shows advertisements on shopping based on your browsing activity on Google services.

Facebook poised to face antitrust suit with FTC decision near

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U.S. antitrust officials are nearing a final decision on bringing a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. that accuses the social-media giant of using its dominance to harm competition, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Shopping, payments, and customer service on WhatsApp

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The global pandemic has made clear that businesses need fast and efficient ways to service their customers and make sales. More than 175 million people every day message a WhatsApp Business account. The research shows people prefer to message a business to get help and they’re more likely to make a purchase when they can do so.
WhatsApp will expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat. The company wants to make it easier for businesses to integrate these features into their existing commerce and customer solutions. This will help many small businesses who have been most impacted in this time.

TikTok partners with Shopify on social commerce

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TikTok is further investing in social commerce with today’s announcement of a new global partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify.
The deal aims to make it easier for Shopify’s over 1 million merchants to reach TikTok’s younger audience and drive sales. The partnership will eventually expand to include other in-app shopping features, as well, the companies said.

PayPal in talks to buy crypto firms including BitGo

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PayPal Holdings Inc. is exploring acquisitions of cryptocurrency companies including Bitcoin custodian BitGo Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a move that would expand its embrace of digital coins.
PayPal has been holding talks with BitGo, a company that helps investors store Bitcoin securely, and could reach a deal within weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Talks could still fall apart and PayPal could opt to buy other targets, the people added.

Italian watchdog investigates Google over alleged advertising market abuse

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Italy's antitrust authority is investigating Alphabet's Google GOOGL.O for alleged abuse of its dominant position in the Italian online display advertising market, it said on Wednesday.
The investigation follows a complaint filed by Italian digital advertising lobby group IAB last year, and adds to regulatory scrutiny the Silicon Valley tech giant is facing worldwide.
The watchdog said it suspects Google of using enormous amounts of data collected through its own applications to prevent rival operators from competing effectively. It said it carried out inspections of some Google offices on Tuesday.

Apple reportedly steps up effort to build Google search alternative

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Apple has quietly increased its efforts to develop its own search technology for iPhones as authorities question its relationship with Google.
Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make its search engine the default option on iPhones.
Apple has started rolling out its own search technology to iPhones with its latest software update.

Microsoft will forcibly open some websites in Edge instead of Internet Explorer

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Starting next month, users trying to access certain websites will see IE refuse to load the URL and automatically open the site in Edge instead.
This forced IE-to-Edge behavior is part of Microsoft's Internet Explorer deprecation plans. Microsoft has been gradually rolling out the feature for testing purposes for some Windows users since the release of Edge 84 this summer.

Google, Facebook and Twitter testified in the US Senate

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The main subject of discussion was section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The clause essentially provides companies immunity from what users post on their sites.
Both political parties feel that the law should be reformed, but neither can agree on how. Republicans have argued that social media platforms are moderating speech too much, while Democrats have said platforms aren't moderating enough.

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