Business Briefs: Federal Trade Commission may block Facebook from integrating messaging services

FILE - This Feb. 19, 2014, file photo, shows WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on a smartphone in New York. Facebook has squeezed just about as many ads into its main platform as it can. Any more and users might start to complain. Now, ads are moving on to Messenger, and WhatsApp may not be too far behind. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

The Federal Trade Commission is considering seeking a preliminary injunction against Facebook to prevent the social network from integrating several of its messaging services, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The agency has discussed how the Silicon Valley company is stitching together the technical infrastructure underlying WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.

The FTC is weighing whether such an integration would make it harder to potentially break up Facebook, they said, especially if the agency determines that the company's acquisitions of some of those apps reduced competition in social networking. The agency has not made a final decision about what to do, the people said.

Seeking an injunction of this kind would be an uncommon step for a federal antitrust agency because officials rarely consider unwinding mergers that have already closed.

First Horizon adds new checking options

First Horizon Bank, the banking subsidiary of First Horizon National Corporation, is launching a new line of three checking accounts to simplify and reward customers.

The new accounts ­- FirstView, SmartView and TotalView Checking - come with a new set of features and benefits based on how customers prefer to access their banking services. A customer may choose a savings account at no additional charge with each product, premium interest on checking balances, and additional bonus interest based on the customer's longevity with the bank.

"Our customers let us know that they prioritize simple, clear products which solve the financial problems they face and are built around creating differentiated offerings," said Tammy LoCascio, executive vice president of consumer banking.

This new checking product line was developed following more than a year of research by First Horizon on financial trends, engaging with customers to learn their evolving preferences and developing new technology.

McDonald's wins unionization dispute

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in McDonald's favor in a long-running case filed by 20 workers who faced retaliation for trying to unionize.

The board says it favors a settlement that will require McDonald's franchisees to pay back wages to the affected workers.

The workers were seeking a ruling that would hold McDonald's responsible for infractions, not just its franchisees. But McDonald's insists the company doesn't directly employ the workers.

An administrative law judge with the labor board had rejected the settlement in March 2018, saying it was unlikely to end the dispute. McDonald's appealed to the full board.