The US Justice Department has announced an investigation into leading online platforms, examining whether they are unfairly restricting competition.
The DoJ did not name any firms, but companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are likely to be scrutinised in the wide-ranging probe.
It was sparked by “widespread concerns” about “search, social media, and some retail services online,” the DoJ said.
It marks the latest scrutiny of tech firms’ power over the US economy.
The US Federal Trade Commission is already looking into similar concerns, while there are also investigations taking place in the European Union.
Last month, the Justice Department was reported to be preparing an investigation of Google to determine whether the search engine giant had broken anti-trust law.
The US Department of Justice said its anti-trust review would consider “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation or otherwise harmed consumers”.
It is likely to examine issues including how the largest tech firms have grown in size and power, and expanded into additional businesses
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is reportedly prone to dozing off in meetings. He’s not the only one. So is there a trick to stopping those eyelids from suddenly feeling so, so heavy?
Meeting-induced sleepiness – it happens to the best of us.
Former vice-presidents Joe Biden and Dick Cheney; Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas – all famous faces who have made headlines for being caught napping during speeches and meetings.
Mr Ross is the latest politician to be criticised for being reportedly unable to “stop falling asleep in meetings” at his department, according to Politico. But his staff denied his focus was so erratic that long meetings were avoided.
So how can you avoid the tempting pull of sleep during your next meeting – and how might you keep everyone awake the next time you have to lead one?
1. The right time…
Elise Keith, founder of Lucid Meetings, a US-based meeting coaching company, says that while time preferences may vary among individuals, research indicates that some periods may be better for achieving certain goals.
“Things like status updates and logical thinking – you want to do those earlier in the morning,” she says. When impressing people is important – like status updates, sales demos, interviews – the morning, “when sharpness and enthusiasm are at their height”, is best.
“Closer to the end of the day is a really good time for brainstorming… because the energy that you had in the morning has started to wear off,” she says. “People loosen up, which is also what you want when you’re trying to illicit cool ideas.”
And of course, never do meetings in the “dead zone” period – right after lunch.
UK-based author and workplace culture expert Judi James, however, says the exact time “matters less than we think” and ensuring a meeting has a clearly stated end time is more important.
“We often fall asleep in meetings out of boredom, not tiredness.”
2. … and right place
While some sessions must take place wherever the work can get done, meeting in unconventional locations can help boost creativity.
Standing meetings – where, as the name suggests, participants talk without sitting down – have also been praised by many efficiency experts for keeping things efficient.
Ms Keith suggests walking meetings or spaces outside for more creative sessions.
3. Be prepared
“The kind of meeting that leaves people to fall asleep is one where they probably shouldn’t be there in the first place… or where other people