House Democrats discuss tougher antitrust law, some Republicans agree

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel discussed ways to tighten antitrust laws on Thursday, with two Republicans on the Democrat-dominated panel indicating potential support for some changes.

FILE PHOTO: The chamber of the House of Representatives stands at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington December 17, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

The antitrust subcommittee, chaired by Representative David Cicilline, is expected to release a much-anticipated report into the four big tech companies — Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Facebook Inc FB.O, Apple APPL.O and Alphabet’s Google GOOGL.O — as soon as Monday.

In the hearing, Cicilline said the tech companies used strategies such as self-preferencing and predatory pricing to grow. “These once-scrappy, underdog startups have grown into the kinds of monopolies we last saw more than a century ago,” he said.

One witness, Bill Baer, who headed the Justice Department Antitrust Division during the Obama administration, argued to the committee that successive court rulings over the years have made it harder to block a merger.

“If courts are unwilling to step back from this overreach, legislation may well be needed to re-set the boundaries,” he said.

Representative Ken Buck, a Republican, appeared swayed by calls for tougher antitrust law, including giving more funding to the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.

“We also need to seriously consider increasing scrutiny on big tech companies, including shifting the burden of proof required for a market dominant company to prove that a merger is not anti-competitive,” he said.

Representative Kelly Armstrong, a Republican, said he agreed with Buck on the need for “more money, more resources, (and) more enforcement.” He indicated he would be interested in discussing “tweaks” to antitrust law.

Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, repeated his concern that Big Tech firms were “out to get conservatives.”

The Justice Department is also probing the big four tech platforms, and is expected to file a lawsuit against Google next week.

Facebook and Amazon also face inquiries by the FTC, while U.S. state attorneys general are looking at Facebook and Google.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by Nandita Bose; editing by Richard Pullin

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Christina Anstead’s Advice for Couples Who Just Can’t Agree on Decor

Christina Anstead knows that couples don’t always agree—on home decor or otherwise. (Remember all of her arguments with her ex-husband and flipping partner Tarek El Moussa on “Flip or Flop”?)

And on her new show, “Christina on the Coast,” we see that plenty of her clients can’t see eye to eye, either.

In the latest episode, “A Clash of Style,” Anstead helps newlyweds Montana and Liz update their home in Long Beach, CA. It’s a big design job, which is made more challenging when these clients can’t agree on how their house should look.

Read on to find out how Anstead helps them compromise, and how they both end up pleasantly surprised by their new surroundings. Perhaps you can avoid your own domestic design battles, too!

Get a sample before you decide

christina anstead
These homeowners made the right choice when they picked blue over black cabinets.

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When the three of them discuss the kitchen, it’s clear that Montana is set on having black cabinets, while Liz wants blue. Neither is willing to compromise, and things are tense between the newlyweds. It’s clear that Anstead will have to act as the tie-breaker.

To help, Anstead brings the newlyweds a sample for blue shaker cabinets. Upon seeing it in real life, Montana warms up to the hue, and allows Liz to get her way. And by the end of renovation, they’re both happy they went with blue. The cabinets bring a sophistication to the kitchen without making it look too harsh.

“Wow, it looks really, really good,” Montana says of the kitchen. “I cannot believe how it turned out.”

Light flooring is a must-have in a home with pets

flooring
Christina Anstead’s flooring choice looks beautiful!

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Since Montana had to compromise on the cabinet color, he’s hopeful that he can call the shots when it comes to flooring. However, he and Liz butt heads once again.

While Montana likes the idea of a dramatic, dark floor, Liz prefers a lighter shade. Once again, Anstead acts as the tie-breaker and explains that the lighter floors won’t just work better with the rest of the home’s design, but will be more practical with their three dogs.

All the fur those pooches shed would show up on a dark floor, but blend in better on a lighter one, she explains.

Montana eventually agrees to medium-gray laminate flooring, and while it may seem like another compromise, he ends up liking it a lot.

Extend your fireplace up

fireplace
Anstead knew this fireplace was due for a makeover.

HGTV

Montana finally gets his way with the fireplace. Anstead wants to take the small fireplace in the living room and make it a grand statement piece by extending it all the way to the ceiling.

Montana is happy that the fireplace will feature the matte black tile he loves.

fireplace
The fireplace now goes all the way to the ceiling.

HGTV

When the fireplace is finally finished, the couple love the look. As it turns out, Montana’s dark style finally

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