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The antitrust investigations into Big Tech are coming thick and fast, putting new pressure on companies that for years have enjoyed enormous and largely unfettered growth.
What’s happening: Dozens of states led by Texas are expected to announce an antitrust investigation targeting Google (GOOG) and its advertising practices. State attorneys general will hold a press conference on Monday near the US Supreme Court building.
The announcement comes after Google parent Alphabet said last week that it had received a mandatory request for information from the US Justice Department concerning the company’s previous antitrust probes. The disclosure was the first public acknowledgment by Google that it is directly involved in the federal agency’s wide-ranging review of the biggest players in Silicon Valley, per my CNN Business colleague Brian Fung.
Separately, the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia have launched an antitrust investigation into Facebook (FB). It’s expected to focus on the impact of the company’s advertising practices, data and consumer privacy and its previous acquisitions, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
Why it matters: Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies face growing scrutiny at the state and federal level, as well as in Europe. This could eat up resources in the short term and have a major impact down the line.
Investor insight: The press conference led by the Texas state attorney general is slotted for 2 p.m. ET. Watch Alphabet’s stock around then. Facebook shares on Friday fell more than 3%.
Investors are waiting on a UK election
Businesses and investors now expect a UK election. The big question is, when?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected on Monday to try again to trigger a snap election following a parliamentary revolt over Brexit last week. The goal: to strengthen his hand before the October 31 Brexit deadline. Otherwise, he could be forced to ask the European Union to delay Brexit again. Johnson has said he would “rather be dead in a ditch.”
It doesn’t look like the effort on Monday will succeed. Opposition parties have said they’ll oppose an election in October as they try to force Johnson to request another delay. After a week of intense volatility, the pound and UK assets could enter a holding pattern.
“The opposition parties could drag this out for a bit long longer than the prime minister would like,” UBS Wealth Management economist Dean Turner told me.
Despite lots of uncertainty, the consensus in the investment community is increasingly that Britain will not leave the EU on October 31, and the country will instead hold an election before the end of the year.
Saudi Arabia’s big shakeup
The world’s largest crude exporter has tapped a new oil minister, a move that could advance plans for an IPO of Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s giant state-owned oil company.
This weekend, the kingdom said it had replaced Khalid al-Falih with Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. Prince Abdulaziz is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s half brother and a longtime member of Saudi Arabia’s delegation to OPEC. He’s the first member of the royal family to serve as oil minister, breaking with tradition.
Al-Falih was removed as chairman of Aramco just last week.
Why you should care: “The leadership change is the latest in a string of developments to prepare Aramco to go public in what could be the world’s biggest IPO,” per my CNN Business colleagues Mark Thompson and John Defterios.
Al-Falih had “never been enthusiastic about an IPO for Aramco,” a senior OPEC source told CNN Business last week.
Saudi Aramco’s IPO planned for 2018 never materialized. But the announcements indicate that the kingdom is once again speedwalking toward a public listing, and there could be more news on the horizon.
Happening now: Prince Abdulaziz speaks Monday at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi.
State attorneys general make their antitrust announcement at 2 p.m. ET.
- US consumer credit data for July posts at 3 p.m. ET.
Coming tomorrow: Apple’s big iPhone 11 event will capture the attention of consumers and tech investors alike.