The daily business briefing: September 13, 2023

Google's antitrust trial gets underway, Apple unveils its first iPhone with USB-C connectors, and more

iPhones with USB-C and Lightning ports
iPhones with new USB-C and old Lightning ports
(Image credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Google antitrust trial begins

The Justice Department and 38 states and territories on Tuesday accused Google of using its dominance in internet search to stifle competition, as the biggest antitrust trial in decades got underway in Washington, D.C. "This case is about the future of the internet and whether Google will ever face meaningful competition," Justice Department lawyer Kenneth Dintzer said in an opening statement. The DOJ says Google has used exclusive search deals as a "weapon." Google's lead trial attorney, John Schmidtlein, said the company fended off competitors by offering a better product, not by abusing exclusive search agreements. "Users today have more search options and more ways to access information online than ever before," he said. The trial is scheduled to continue until mid-November. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal

2. Apple shows off 1st iPhone with USB-C connectors

Apple on Tuesday unveiled its latest iPhones, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, which are the company's first smartphones using the USB-C standard rather than Apple's proprietary Lightning connector. Apple had confirmed last year that it would switch to USB-C ports to comply with looming new European Union regulations. The company held iPhone 15 prices to $799 for a 128GB model, while the iPhone 15 Plus starts at $899 for the 128GB configuration. Preorders start Friday, and both models will be available Sept. 22. Except for the new USB-C ports, the 2023 iPhones look essentially like the iPhone 14. The Verge

3. BP CEO resigns over past relationships with colleagues

BP said Tuesday that CEO Bernard Looney had resigned abruptly after admitting he hadn't been "fully transparent" about past personal relationships with colleagues. The company said it would replace Looney "on an interim basis" with its chief financial officer, Murray Auchincloss. BP said Looney, 53, "accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure." The Irish executive's departure was not expected, and took effect immediately. Looney put his mark on the global energy giant by leading it through the tough first year of the coronavirus pandemic. BP suffered big losses and job cuts, and reduced its dividend before bouncing back with huge profits last year as energy prices rose after Russia's Ukraine invasion disrupted energy markets. Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal

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4. Stock futures lower ahead of inflation data

U.S. stock futures fell early Wednesday ahead of the release of August inflation data. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down 0.1% at 7 a.m. ET. The Nasdaq was down 0.2%. All three of the major U.S. indexes fell on Tuesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1%. Economists expect the August consumer price index report coming out Wednesday to show year-over-year inflation of 3.6%, up from 3.2% in July, according to Dow Jones. The projection for core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, was 4.3%, compared to 4.7% in July. CNBC

5. FDA advisory panel says popular decongestant doesn't work

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously on Tuesday to declare a common ingredient in over-the-counter decongestants to be ineffective. The FDA is now expected to decide on whether to order the removal from stores shelves of cold medicines that contain the ingredient, phenylephrine. A trade group said a move like that could make popular over-the-counter products, including Tylenol, Mucinex and Benadryl cold and flu remedies, unavailable until their manufacturers can come up with new formulas, The New York Times reported. FDA officials typically follow their advisers' recommendations, although a decision may take months. The New York Times, NPR

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.