Congress grills Big Tech over competition, power
Big Tech is facing tough questions as federal lawmakers focused on issues of potentially anticompetitive behavior by technology giants and expressed bipartisan skepticism over Facebook’s plan for a new digital currency.
Both Democrats and Republicans had grievances to air, even if they didn’t have much of a consensus on what to do about them. Facebook returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to face grilling over the currency, to be called Libra.
Netflix’s subscriber growth drops in 2Q, stock tumbles
Netflix’s video streaming service suffered a dramatic slowdown in growth during its traditionally sluggish spring season, a drop-off coming as it girds for even stiffer competition.
The service picked up 2.7 million worldwide subscribers for the April-June period. That’s far below the 5 million subscribers forecast by Netflix. The company’s stock plunged by more than 10% after the disappointing numbers were announced Wednesday.
Data shows flood of opioids across US
The maker of OxyContin has been cast as the chief villain in the nation’s opioid crisis. But newly released government figures suggest Purdue Pharma had plenty of help in flooding the U.S. with billions of pills even as overdose deaths were accelerating.
Records kept by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration show that 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills — the vast majority of them generics, not brand names — were shipped to U.S. pharmacies from 2006-12.
US home construction slips 0.9% to 1.25 million
U.S. home construction slipped last month as an uptick in the building of single-family homes was offset by a big drop in apartment construction.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that construction was started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.25 million in June, down 0.9% from 1.27 million in May.
Nuclear commission considers fewer inspections
A proposal to cut back on federal inspections at nuclear reactors in the United States is dividing proponents and critics of the nuclear industry.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff said rolling back inspections would save money without affecting public safety, a position favored by the industry. Critics of the proposal worry that reducing oversight could lead to a disaster.
US objections to tech tax overshadow G-7 meeting
The Trump administration is objecting to France’s plan to tax Facebook, Google and other U.S. tech giants.
The rift is overshadowing talks between the Group of Seven longtime allies as their top finance officials gather near Paris Wednesday to discuss issues ranging from digital currencies to trade.
Washington talks could yield spending, debt deal
Washington negotiators are closing in on a budget and debt deal that would stave off a government shutdown this fall and speed through must-do legislation to increase the government’s borrowing cap.
The emerging framework would satisfy demands from defense hawks and Washington’s pragmatic class to complete $1.3 trillion in agency operating budgets, and it puts off battles over political land mines like immigration.