Tag Archives: Probe
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Democrats take control of the U.S. House they plan to investigate the Trump administration’s attempt to block AT&T Inc (T.N) from acquiring Time Warner, and whether officials sought to punish Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) by prodding the U.S. Post Office to hike shipping prices for the world’s largest e-commerce company, a senior Democrat and a congressional aide said on Sunday.
An AT&T logo is pictured in Pasadena, California, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Speaking to online publication Axios, Representative Adam Schiff, who is expected to be the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Democrats will review if Trump used the powers of the federal government to punish the companies.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the likely incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the committee “may want to look into” if the White House retaliated against Amazon and AT&T.
A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee aide said on Sunday that the committee has “already been investigating these matters, but the Trump Administration to date has not complied with our requests. We fully expect that to change now that we are in the majority.”
Cummings also said on ABC’s “This Week” that he intends to investigate if Trump killed plans to relocate the new headquarters of the FBI because moving it could harm his business interests in the Trump Hotel across the street.
Cummings in September asked the White House and the Trump Organization for documents about Trump’s “failure to accurately report debts and payments” to his personal attorney Michael Cohen “for silencing women who alleged extramarital affairs before the election.”
Another committee aide said on Sunday “the requested information was not provided because we were in the minority, and this should change now that we are in the majority.” Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight felony counts.
Since winning control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections last week, Democrats have vowed to launch investigations on a wide range of topics involving the Trump administration.
Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos privately owns the Washington Post, while Time Warner’s holdings include CNN. Trump has lambasted both outlets frequently for their critical coverage of him.
“It is very squarely within our responsibility to find out,” Schiff told Axios in an interview that will air Sunday on HBO.
Schiff said Trump “was secretly meeting with the postmaster (general) in an effort to browbeat the postmaster into raising postal rates on Amazon… This appears to be an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post,” Schiff said.
It is not clear what committees may probe the corporate issues, since Schiff’s Intelligence Committee would not have oversight. A Schiff spokesman declined further comment.
AT&T and Amazon.com both declined to comment on Sunday. The White House did not immediately comment.
Trump has repeatedly complained Amazon does not pay the U.S. Postal Service a fair rate for package delivery. Trump has said, without citing evidence, that this costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, and he has threatened to raise the company’s postal rates.
Trump opposed the AT&T-Time Warner merger as a candidate and has repeatedly attacked CNN and last week a CNN reporter’s White House press pass was suspended.
The Justice Department is appealing a federal judge’s approval of the $ 85.4 billion AT&T acquisition of Time Warner.
With a split decision in last week’s congressional elections, Democrats plan a cautious approach. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Democrats will not conduct “any investigation for a political purpose, but to seek the truth.”
Cummings vowed a “methodical” approach in approaching investigations. “I’m not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody’s handing out candy on Halloween,” Cummings said.
Reporting by David Shepardson and Sarah N. Lynch, Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler
Tesla, the pioneering electric-car manufacturer that posted blowout earnings this week, may be facing an FBI investigation over investor communications it made regarding the production levels of its Model 3 sedans, the Wall Street Journal said Friday.
Earlier this month, Tesla settled with the SEC over charges that it misled investors after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private. The SEC, which alleged that the tweets were fraudulent, at first sued Musk, before reaching a settlement that required Musk and Tesla to each pay $ 20 million in fines, while finding an independent chairman to replace Musk.
According to the Journal, Tesla the FBI “has intensified” its investigation into whether Tesla misstated data on the production of its Model 3, its lowest-priced sedan. Tesla has invested heavily in the Model 3 production, adding to losses in recent quarters. Last quarter, however, Model 3 sales pushed Tesla into the black.
In a statement, Tesla disputed some of the Journal’s report. “Earlier this year, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the Department of Justice about its public guidance for the Model 3 ramp,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement to Fortune. “We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process, and there have been no additional document requests about this from the Department of Justice for months.”
The Journal reported that former Tesla employees, who received subpoenas earlier in the investigation, have been contacted in recent weeks by the FBI for further testimony.
Musk told investors on earnings calls that Tesla would be producing between 5,000 and 20,000 Model 3s per month by the end of 2017, the Journal said. In reality, Tesla ended up producing only 2,700 Model 3’s for all of 2017. The FBI is reportedly investigating such discrepancies.
While Tesla admits it did not meet its early and ambitious production goals, it said it was “transparent about how difficult it would be… and that we were entering ‘production hell.’” Tesla further noted that “it took us six months longer than we expected to meet our 5,000 unit per week guidance,” but that its approach has been “to set truthful targets – not sandbagged targets that we would definitely exceed and not unrealistic targets that we could never meet.”
Tesla’s stock, which rose 5.2% Friday during official trading, was down 1.8% in after-hours trading.
DETROIT (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Tuesday it will pause autonomous vehicle testing following an accident in which an Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] self-driving vehicle struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona.
Separately, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix said it was awaiting the results of an investigation by Tempe police of the fatality before reviewing whether any charges should be filed.
Reporting By Joe White; Editing by Jonathan Oatis
PYEONGCHANG (Reuters) – Pyeongchang Olympics organizers were looking into a disruption of non-critical systems on the day of the opening ceremony but could not yet confirm if it was a cyberattack, Games spokesman Sung Baik-you said on Saturday.
The Winter Olympics opened with a spectacular ceremony on Friday, attended by several heads of state who witnessed the joint march of North and South Korean athletes, as Games systems played up.
The ceremony was also attended by North Korean ceremonial leader Kim Yong Nam and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, as well as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Some local media reported system problems, including the Games website and some television sets, were due to a cyberattack but Sung said it was still too early to determine whether hackers had attempted to damage them.
“There were some issues that affected some of our non-critical systems last night for a few hours,” Sung told reporters, without detailing what the issues specifically were.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused. It has not disrupted any event or had any effect on safety and security for athletes or spectators.”
Sung said security experts were currently investigating the incident.
“Experts are watching to ensure and maintain any systems at expected service levels. We are currently investigating the cause of the issue. At this time we cannot confirm (a cyberattack),” he added.
“We are investigating the cause and we will share more information. All competitions are running as planned.”
It was also not clear whether failure to deploy drones as part of the programme during the two-hour opening ceremony was in any way related to the system problems.
The International Olympic Committee said pre-recorded footage of the drones was used instead.
“Due to impromptu logistical changes it (drone deployment) did not proceed,” the IOC spokesman said with elaborating further.
The Winter Games, staged only 80km (50 miles) from the North Korean border, saw the two Koreas, who are technically still at war since a 1953 armistice, march together at the opening ceremony for the first time since 2006.
South Korea has been using the Pyeongchang Games to break the ice with the reclusive North, which has been trading nuclear threats with the United States recently.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Sudipto Ganguly
ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust has opened a probe into allegations that Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd used software updates deliberately to speed up the ageing process of their products.
The antitrust body said in a statement it would investigate whether the two firms made their products obsolete to stimulate new purchases.
Apple acknowledged last month that iPhone software had the effect of slowing down some phones with battery problems, but denied that it had ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product. [nL1N1OK282]
Reporting by Crispian Balmer