Google and Facebook face antitrust reckoning — here's what could happen in 2021: CNBC After Hours

CNBC.com's MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day's top business news headlines. On today's show, a former FTC attorney reflects on the flurry of antitrust cases against tech companies like Google and Facebook and looks ahead to more action in 2021. Plus, CNBC's Frank Holland explains how the pandemic has not only shifted consumer behavior when it comes to shopping, but also returning unwanted gifts.

The walls are closing in on Big Tech as global regulators crack down

U.S. tech giants have become too big for their boots and they need to be kept in line — that's the message that's been shared by governments around the world throughout 2020, with tensions building to a crescendo at the end of 2020.

For years, nations have allowed the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon to "move fast and break things" with relatively little scrutiny or accountability. But now U.S. tech giants are being targeted more than ever by regulators in their home country, as well as in Europe and the rest of the world.

New laws to police Big Tech are being announced by countries and regions at a rate of knots that will force some of the world's most valuable companies to fundamentally change how they go about their business and make their billions. There's also talk of breaking up monopolies.

Trump signs off on $600 stimulus checks, but a vote on $2,000 direct payments is still happening

After holding up the $900 billion coronavirus relief bill for nearly a week, President Donald Trump has just signed off on the stimulus package, which includes $600 checks.

The president had previously called the bill an unsuitable "disgrace" and demanded lawmakers raise the second round of stimulus checks to $2,000 per person, from $600.

Though the stimulus bill has been signed into law, the push to more than triple the size of direct payments is still underway.

The House plans to vote on a measure to increase stimulus checks to $2,000 on Monday, and in a statement released by Trump on Sunday night, he said the Senate would also "start the process for a vote that increases checks to $2,000."

It remains to be seen whether lawmakers will agree to authorize larger checks, an effort that is unpopular among many Republican leaders. In a statement late Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., made no mention of plans to consider this legislation should the House pass it.

More online sales mean retailers need to solve a $50 billion returns problem this holiday season

'Tis the season for giving gifts and then returning that sweater your mom gave you that didn't fit.

The new normal for many consumers is buying gifts from the comfort of the couch. And as online sales continue to grow, the amount of items that people are returning during the holidays only continues to grow with them. To records.

Shoppers are expected to return $41.6 billion worth of merchandise bought on the internet this November and December, according to a study by commercial real estate services firm CBRE, in partnership with Optoro, a company that helps retailers process returns. That's up from a projection of $37 billion last year, and would make an all-time high, the report said.

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