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AM Prep-Cyber Corner

November 30, 2018

IN THE NEWS: AMAZON INVESTIGATION - GERMANY

BERLIN (AP) — Amazon is under investigation by Germany’s antitrust agency. The agency says it has launched a probe of the online retailer to over complaints that it is abusing its position to lord it over sellers who use its “marketplace” platform. The agency — the Federal Cartel Office — says because Amazon is both the largest retailer and largest marketplace, the company had the potential to hinder other sellers on its platform. The office says it has received many complaints about Amazon’s business practices toward sellers — and it was those complaints that prompted the investigation.

IN THE NEWS: AIRBNB SUED BY AMERICANS OVER WEST BANK RENTALS

JERUSALEM (AP) — There’s a new twist to the growing controversy over Airbnb’s decision to ban listings from West Bank settlements. A group of Americans has filed a civil rights lawsuit in a U.S. federal court over the rental company’s decision. The plaintiffs say Airbnb is discriminating against Jewish West Bank homeowners — in part because it doesn’t maintain a similar rental policy in other disputed territories around the world. Airbnb announced last week it would stop listing around 200 properties and end operations in Israeli West Bank settlements, which most of the international community consider to be illegal. In a statement yesterday, Airbnb says it doesn’t believe the lawsuit, filed in Delaware, will succeed. A similar case was filed last week in a Jerusalem court.

ON THE WEB: KENNEDY CENTER HONORS

CYBERSPACE (AP) — The first Sunday in December is upon us. And for fans of the arts, that means we’re two days away from the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington. The event brings together some of the titans in entertainment with political big shots for a night of celebrating those who have entertained the nation throughout the decades. But the biggest politician in the U.S. won’t be there. For the second straight year, President Donald Trump won’t attend the Kennedy Center Honors. Two of the honorees, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Cher, have been vocal critics of the president and his policies.

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Online:

Kennedy Center Honors site: http://www.kennedy-center.org/pages/SpecialEvents/honors

IN STORES: ALEXA AND BIG MOUTH BILLY

DALLAS (AP) — It’s an idea whose time has come — at least for some people. If you like high-tech devices and kitschy gadgets, this one is for you. The people who make Big Mouth Billy Bass say its plaque-mounted singing and talking fish is now able to listen to Alexa — the voice that drives the Amazon Echo device. Billy is able to lip synch to Alexa’s responses — and can even dance to songs from Amazon music. Billy seems pleased by the electronic collaboration. When it’s first plugged in, Billy shouts, “Woo-hoo, that feels good!” The new version of Big Mouth Billy Bass will be released tomorrow — and retail for $39.99.

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Online:

Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com .

by Oscar Wells Gabriel II

Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2

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