Canada's antitrust regulators scrutinizing Google PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer   
Saturday, 14 December 2013 07:05

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Government regulators in Canada are poised to open a formal investigation into whether Google is abusing its dominance of the Internet search market to stifle competition and drive up digital advertising prices.

Canada's Competition Bureau indicated in a filing made in an Ottawa federal court earlier this week that it suspects that Google Inc. has been breaking the country's antitrust laws. Regulators are seeking a court order that would require Google's Canadian subsidiary to furnish antitrust investigators with internal company records.

Based on its preliminary findings, the commission "has reason to believe that the manner in which Google operates its search engine and search-advertising platforms ... amount to an abuse of a dominant position," wrote Mark MacLachlan, a senior competition law office for the agency.

Among other things, Canadian regulators believe Google has been giving preferential treatment to its own services in its influential search rankings to thwart potential rivals. Investigators are also examining whether Google's partnerships with other websites and device makers are making it more difficult for rival products to compete. Those concerns mirror issues that have already been raised by regulators in other countries.

MasterCard sets new standards for payroll cards PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 13 December 2013 14:14

PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — MasterCard has set new standards for its payroll cards, and says it says should help employees take better advantage of its benefits.

Payroll cards, which are similar to debit cards, are a means for an employer to pay employees. They typically are used as a way to deposit paychecks for workers who do not have access to a traditional checking account.

The cards have stirred controversy. Proponents say they are the equivalent of cash or checks and give people access to funds in a fashion they can easily use. But critics point to fees to use the cards as a burden on low-wage workers who receive them as payment.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning to employers about such cards in September based on complaints about fees. And the New York Attorney General's office began looking into about 20 companies for use of such cards to pay employees to ensure they comply with consumer-protection laws.

Ford set to digitize material for online museum PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, 14 December 2013 06:57

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford and the Henry Ford museum are taking their vast trove of historical documents, photos, video and other items and digitizing them so they can be shared online with the public.

Among the 14 million items accumulated in the Ford archives in Dearborn is the resignation letter Henry Ford sent to his board of directors on Sept. 20, 1945, in which he said he needed time to pursue personal interests. They also have sketches, ad campaign materials and video, according to the Detroit Free Press ( ).

"People have a great emotional connection to the company's heritage," archives manager Dean Weber said. "We're digitizing our heritage to get more online and reach new audiences."

The University of California has offered its computing center to assist with the collection, which will be available at But not all items can be scanned for online viewing.

Brisk sales raise Mega Millions jackpot to $425M PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BARBARA RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press DAVID PITT, Associated Press   
Friday, 13 December 2013 14:05

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Superstition didn't deter players hoping that Friday the 13th will bring them good luck in the Mega Millions game as heavy sales prompted lottery officials to boost the jackpot to $425 million.


Paula Otto, the Virginia Lottery's executive director and Mega Millions' lead director, said Friday morning that sales were 40 percent ahead of projections, prompting officials to boost the jackpot for the draw that night.

"Won't it be fun if we have a huge lottery winner on Friday the 13th?" she said. "I always say there are no unlucky numbers in the lottery. I work on the 13th floor of our building. I like 13. It's certainly fun to have such a big jackpot on a day that some people are superstitious about."

The estimated $425 million jackpot is the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever, trailing a $656 million jackpot won in March 2012, and it is the fifth largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The current jackpot has rolled over 20 times, and its winner could have a cash option of $228 million before taxes.

In New York state, tickets were selling at a pace of $500,000 an hour Friday morning. The state's lottery spokeswoman, Christy Calicchia, said sales are normally between $60,000 and $70,000 an hour.

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