Daily Digest: Dayton vetoes abortion bill, FTC ups the ante of Google case

Katherine Lymn

Your Daily Digest for Friday, April 27:

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed one abortion bill Thursday, and will likely veto another coming through the House, the Star Tribune reported. On Thursday, he said “no” to a bill that would require licensing of abortion clinics that perform 10 or more abortions a month. He said in a statement that the bill’s language was so vague it would open clinics up to complaints for almost any reason, and that the requirements were “unworkable.” The bill’s sponsor, Claire Robling, R-Jordan, told the Strib that she’s trying to keep abortions out of back alleys to keep women safe. She said she’s two votes shy of the 45 votes needed to override the veto.

The other bill on the way to his desk would require a doctor be present whenever an abortion pill is prescribed or taken. The Strib noted how both bills made it through both chambers during the “end-of-session crush,” while the Vikings stadium and bonding bills haven’t yet — a sign of the passion behind the abortion debate in Minnesota.

The Federal Trade Commission hired a top litigator Thursday for its antitrust investigation of Google, sending a signal that it's ready to take the search engine giant to court, the New York Times reported. The FTC is looking into whether Google’s immense power has been abused, like by manipulating search results to make it less likely that competing companies or products appear first. The Times gave an example: if Google altered its algorithm so that a search for “washing machines” put a machine from a site affiliated with Google first, it would put its competitors at a disadvantage.

Google might say in its defense that it's just tweaking its model to provide users the best results.

The hiring of Beth A. Wilkinson, who earlier in her career helped convict Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, “shows Google that if it doesn’t give you the remedy you want, you’re going to litigate,” said David Wales, a former FTC official.