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Inside Compliance

Inside Compliance (Jul 24th, 2019)

1. As part of a settlement between Facebook and the Federal Trade Commissioner, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg must personally certify his company is compliant with consumer privacy requirements. The settlement, announced Wednesday, also includes a $5 billion fine, which many lawmakers and others say is insufficient for a company with $56 billion in revenue last year. The settlement was approved by a 3-2 FTC board vote along party lines. (Three Republicans voted for the settlement; two Democrats dissented.) Some critics believe the new oversight measurements are insufficient and have called for breaking up the tech behemoth. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

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2. Deutsche Bank reported a $3.51 billion loss in the second quarter thanks to a huge restructuring charge that comes after compliance issues, mainly outside of Europe. Germany's largest bank already has announced plans to cut 18,000 jobs and pull back its operations outside of Europe. The bank is also trying to wind down its more than $300 billion in derivatives contracts and other unwanted assets. Some of the scandals that have plagued the bank in recent years include money laundering and selling toxic securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

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3. The Justice Department said Tuesday that it is launching an antitrust investigation into tech giants, including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Both Congress and the Federal Trade Commission already are undertaking similar reviews. The focus on the tech juggernauts comes as legal understanding of antitrust issues is changing. Until recently, companies were able to elide antitrust concerns so long as consumers didn't suffer. But that legal understanding, many say, is outdated since Facebook and Google and other companies can capture huge market share even while offering products for free to consumers. - NEW YORK TIMES

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4. China is banning 139 funds from participating in initial public offerings, citing malfeasance by money managers who made IPO applications that were greater than the size of the their investments. The orders came on the Star market, China's new tech-trading platform that kicked off on Monday. "The Nasdaq-style trading venue is an experimental market in China that eased limits on valuations and price-swings, increasing the potential for big gains as well as large losses," reported Bloomberg News. - BLOOMBERG

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5. Korindo, a Korean-Indonesian company, has been sanctioned by the Forest Stewardship Council for destroying tropical rainforests. Korindo "cleared more than 30,000 hectares of tropical forests for palm oil plantations in Indonesia's Papua and Maluku regions," reported The Associated Press. The council, the chief organization for certifying sustainable wood in the world, said it wouldn't expel the company from the organization but added that Korindo would have to meet several steps in order to keep its certification. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

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6. A day after his arrest, Kenya Finance Minister Henry Rotich pleaded not guilty to corruption charges stemming from alleged graft in two dam projects. Rotich was released on bail after making his plea on Tuesday. The arrest is the first time that a sitting Kenyan official has been charged with corruption. The Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna is overseeing the project, and while the dams have not been built, over $180 million already has been paid out. Kenya also is seeking the extradition of CMC di Ravenna's Italian CEO to face charges. - AL JAZEERA

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7. Forbes provides an interesting look at new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's long history of tax travails with the Internal Revenue Service. Johnson was born in the United States, and while he left when he was 5 years old, he retained his citizenship. After the IRS went after him for capital gains taxes on the sale of his U.K. home, Johnson ultimately renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2016. - FORBES

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8. Microsoft will pay more than $25 million to settle bribery charges involving a Hungarian subsidiary. About $16.5 million will go the Securities Exchange Commission and the rest to the Department of Justice. The penalties close the investigation into Microsoft's Hungary subsidiary, which between 2013 and 2015 was offering bribes to secure kickbacks for contracts. - ZDNET

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9. NBCUniversal Cyber Security seeks a senior director of risk and compliance.

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10. Amazon seeks a tax compliance manager.

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Paul Wachter is a California-based journalist who has written for The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, ESPN, and other publications. 

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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