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Amazon Executive Says Company Welcomes Scrutiny of Big Tech

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One of Amazon.com’s top executives on Wednesday responded to reported information gathering by US antitrust enforcers and to calls by some critics to break up the company with a simple message: we welcome any review.

“Substantial entities in the economy deserve scrutiny, and our job is to build the kind of company that passes that scrutiny,” Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon’s consumer business, said at a press conference in Las Vegas.

A report by news site Vox on Tuesday said the US Federal Trade Commission was questioning Amazon’s competitors about the company, an example of growing scrutiny of the technology sector in Washington.

According to the report, the questioning regarded Amazon’s fulfilment service pricing, competition with third-party merchants selling through its website and the bundling of services in Amazon’s Prime loyalty program.

The US executive branch is gearing up for probes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Alphabet’s Google, setting up what could be a wide-ranging and unprecedented investigation into some of the world’s most valuable companies, sources recently said.

Tech executives will be asked to testify as to whether their companies have misused their market power, too.

Amazon’s consumer CEO Wilke followed an approach to scrutiny taken by other executives. His boss, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, has made similar comments, and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that huge companies deserved oversight, in an interview aired recently by CBS News.

“With size, I think scrutiny is fair. I think we should be scrutinised,” he said. But, he added, “I don’t think anybody reasonable is gonna come to the conclusion that Apple’s a monopoly.”

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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Apple probably didn’t want you to see this AirTag debug menu

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Apple’s AirTags may be designed to make hunting things easier, but there’s a secret debug menu in the Find My app which unlocks extra details about the location trackers. Launched last month, each AirTag has both Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband to pinpoint it not only in terms of distance from your iPhone, but the direction in which it’s located. It’s … Continue reading

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Wyze the latest group to warn of “volatile” prices due to pandemic

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The folks at Wyze sent an email to users of Wyze products this week warning of rising prices on products. They suggested that they’re seeing “huge cost increases” on “almost every material” they use to manufacture smart products of all sorts. Starting on May 18, 2021, Wyze will be increasing the cost of their products, including (but not limited to) … Continue reading

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Now you can control Deezer on your Apple HomePod with Siri

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HomePod users can now ask for music from streaming service Deezer, with the Apple smart speakers expanding Siri support. The new voice functionality works with both the original, discontinued HomePod and the newer, smaller, HomePod mini. With it enabled, owners will be able to set Deezer as their default music service. After that, commands like “Hey Siri, play Radiohead” will … Continue reading

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