Feds may target Google’s Chrome browser for breakup

Justice Department and state prosecutors investigating Google for alleged antitrust violations are considering whether to force the company to sell its dominant Chrome browser and parts of its lucrative advertising business, three people with knowledge of the discussions said Friday.

The conversations — amid preparations for an antitrust legal battle that DOJ is expected to begin in the coming weeks — could pave the way for the first court-ordered break-up of a U.S. company in decades. The forced sales would also represent major setbacks for Google, which uses its control of the world’s most popular web browser to aid the search engine that is the key to its fortunes.

Discussions about how to resolve Google’s control over the $162.3 billion global market for digital advertising remain ongoing, and no final decisions have been made, the people cautioned, speaking anonymously to discuss confidential discussions. But prosecutors have asked advertising technology experts, industry rivals and media publishers for potential steps to weaken Google’s grip.

DOJ is separately preparing an antitrust suit accusing Google of abusing its control on the online search market, which the department could file as soon as next week. Targets of that complaint are expected to include the ways Google uses its Android mobile operating system to help entrench its search engine, POLITICO reported last week.

Spokespeople for Google and the Justice Department declined to comment Friday.

The expected litigation comes as Google and fellow tech industry heavyweights Facebook, Amazon and Apple are facing growing scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats in Washington for issues such as their squashing of competitors, treatment of users’ private data and handling of disinformation in the presidential race.

One major question facing the prosecutors in both suits: What fixes should they seek to curb Google’s power?

In the advertising investigation, DOJ and

Microsoft Reportedly Bringing Xbox Game Pass To iOS As Browser App

Microsoft’s gaming boss Phil Spencer told employees that the company is planning to bring Xbox Game Pass streaming to Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices using a “direct browser-based solution,” according to a Business Insider report.

“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” Spencer reportedly told employees this week. According to The Verge, Spencer also mentioned bringing this browser solution to Windows 10 PCs next year.

Microsoft’s game-streaming portion of Xbox Game Pass has so far only been available on Android as Apple at first blocked it and similar services such as Google Stadia, but then agreed to allow those apps onto its iOS devices provided that there were separate apps for each game. Apple also required that each game be submitted individually so that it would comply with the company’s 30% profit-splitting policy.

Microsoft declined to participate, calling the solution a “bad experience for customers” as it wanted all of its games to be available within one app for ease of use.

Specific details on Microsoft’s browser-streaming solution have not been detailed yet, but the company did reveal that it planned to bring streaming to Game Pass on its Xbox consoles as well.

Microsoft isn’t the only company pursuing web-based gaming, as Amazon’s Luna game streaming service will also launch on iOS in the near future. On iOS, Luna will also use a browser app to stream its selection of games on Apple hardware.

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Ethereum browser and wallet app MetaMask now offers token swap functionality

The popular Ethereum toolkit MetaMask now allows users to swap tokens from within the app itself.

MetaMask owner ConsenSys announced the news on Tuesday, saying that the new feature would request token prices from decentralized exchanges and aggregators so that users can get the best prices.

MetaMask will support Uniswap, Airswap, Kyber, 0x API, 1inch.exchange, dex.ag, Paraswap, Totle, and private market makers for the feature. This approach means that users won’t need to navigate these platforms individually to find the optimal price.

The feature is initially available to users of the MetaMask extension on the Firefox browser and will be rolled out soon to other browsers and MetaMask Mobile, ConsenSys said. 

The MetaMask team said on Monday that it had exceeded one million monthly active users.

“MetaMask user growth happens in a compounding feedback loop similar to the feedback loop of the internet itself. Users onboard to use one site, and end up discovering hundreds of other sites from decentralized finance to gaming to new communities,” the team wrote.

© 2020 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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What Is The Finest & Quickest Browser? Browser Reviews

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What Is The Greatest & Quickest Browser? Browser Critiques

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