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Here are the biggest business law cases to watch in 2023

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The courts are back in session and are already dealing with some of the biggest business law issues expected this year – from the potential overhaul of liability protections for online third-party content, to the implosion of the crypto-company. FTX currency, to student debt relief.

Crypto empire FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appeared in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to financial fraud charges related to his role in the collapse of the trading firm of digital currencies.

The Bankman-Fried case, slated for trial in October, is just one of dozens of business disputes set to explode this year. Big tech companies such as Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG), Meta (META) and Twitter have new content, software and transparency rules to follow in the European Union. And businesses of all sizes could see new rules in the United States for the user-generated content they host online.

Here are some legal cases, laws and regulations that Yahoo Finance is watching in 2023.

Internet Rules

A 24-year-old law that underpins the internet and social media landscape we know today will come to the attention of the United States Supreme Court in 2023.

The high court will consider how far Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act can go to insulate website owners from liability for user-generated content. The law prevents YouTube websites to family retailers that host user reviews from being sued for what third parties post on their sites.

And Big Tech is preparing for newly implemented laws in Europe.

Dominant tech companies designated as “gatekeepers” like Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft (MSFT) will have to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act. The laws state that Big Tech companies cannot favor their own products and services over those of third parties and require messaging services to work properly between apps and devices.

The Digital Services Act also opens the door to liability for big tech companies that host user-generated content. Its rules allow third parties to report suspected illegal content and hosts to quickly block or remove content once a notice has been issued.

Under the new rules, end users must also have the ability to easily uninstall pre-installed apps or change default settings on operating systems.

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 28: The United States Supreme Court building is seen in Washington DC, United States on December 28, 2022. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES – DECEMBER 28: The United States Supreme Court building is seen in Washington DC, United States on December 28, 2022. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Student Loan Debt Relief

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases this year from Borrowers and six Republican-led state attorneys general, both of whom are challenging whether President Biden has the power to write off student loan debt. certain American taxpayers.

In August, the president issued an executive order to forgive up to $10,000 in student debt for single filers reporting less than $125,000 in adjusted gross income and for married filers earning less than $25,000. Pell Grant recipients may be eligible for an additional rebate of $10,000.

The measure quickly became bogged down in a lawsuit that suspended aid. The High Court is due to hear arguments in the cases in the first quarter of 2023.

Theranos founder appeals

One of the most watched trials of 2022 will go down in appeals this year, and possibly beyond, as fallen Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes challenges criminal fraud convictions by a federal jury in January 2022.

Holmes, who founded blood-testing startup Theranos, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for lying to investors who backed her business to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. At its height, Theranos was valued at $9 billion – and made Holmes, at the time, the richest self-made woman in the world.

LOOK: Documentary Yahoo Finance Valley of Hype: the culture that built Elizabeth Holmes

Musk and Twitter

And serial CEO Elon Musk is under the microscope after completing a contentious acquisition of Twitter in October.

The CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink — now Twitter’s top exec, at least for now — is catching the attention of Tesla market watchers and regulators.

The US Federal Trade Commission wants to know if staff at Twitter – which was cut in half in November – is able to comply with the agency’s pre-Musk agreement to protect private user data.

And critics of the deal worry that Musk is spreading his time too thinly, and that Musk’s impending loan repayments to cover debt incurred for part of Twitter’s $44 billion price tag will increase pressure on Musk to sell more. of Tesla shares.

Epic vs. Apple

The Fortnite game graphic is displayed on a smartphone in front of the Apple logo in this illustration taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The Fortnite game graphic is displayed on a smartphone in front of the Apple logo in this illustration taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

An appeals court is expected to decide this year whether Apple violated antitrust laws by blocking video game developer Epic Games from its App Store.

In September, following a federal lawsuit in California, a district court judge issued a permanent injunction to stop Apple from blocking direct in-app purchases and preventing developers from communicating directly with customers.

Although the district court judge said Apple did not violate federal antitrust law, she found the tech giant violated California’s unfair competition law.

FTX fallout continues

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is escorted out of the trial court building in Nassau, Bahamas, December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and former CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, is escorted out of the trial court building in Nassau, Bahamas, December 21, 2022. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The $32 billion implosion that bankrupted the second-largest crypto empire, FTX, is now also a criminal case, after the US Department of Justice filed fraud charges against the founder and CEO of the company, Sam Bankman-Fried. Fried also faces civil suits from the SEC and the CFTC.

At the request of US authorities, the former crypto chief was arrested in the Bahamas in December. A federal jury in the United States returned an eight-count indictment against Bankman-Fried, charging him with financial fraud and conspiracy, money laundering and violations of campaign contribution laws.

The bankruptcy along with the charges brought by US authorities promise to be among the most watched business law stories of 2023.

Alexis Keenan is a legal reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow Alexis on Twitter @alexiskweed.

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