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Justice Department announces broad antitrust review of Big Tech


steven36
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It’s separate from the Google and Apple investigations that were announced earlier

 

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After months of heightened tech scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats, the Justice Department is opening a new antitrust investigation into large tech firms like Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

 

“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”

 

The investigation will address broad concerns over whether Big Tech is stifling competition, and will be separate from the department’s probes of Google and Apple that were reported earlier this summer and are intended to take a closer look at individual potential violations. The review reported today will look into search engines, social media platforms, and retail, but not focus on any individual company or practice.

 

In a press release, the Justice Department said the review “will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online.”

 

At Attorney General Barr’s confirmation hearing this past January, he told senators that he would like to see the Justice Department take a harder look at whether companies like Google and Amazon were abusing their market dominance.

 

“I’d like to have the antitrust [officials] support that effort to get more involved in reviewing the situation from a competition standpoint,” Barr said at the time. “I don’t think big is necessarily bad, but I think a lot of people wonder [how] these big behemoths have taken shape in Silicon Valley.”

 

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DOJ Announces Probe Into Big Tech Over Antitrust Concerns

 

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The Justice Department is finally set to being its long-rumored review of monopoly concerns in the areas of online search, ecommerce, and social media, specifically targeting big tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. An exceptionally broad probe, the agency announced this afternoon it would seek to learn if such companies had “reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers.”

 

The FTC and DOJ, which both possess antitrust powers, have been prepping for action against these mega-corporations for months, divvying up which agency would pursue which tech giant. Some of the companies being probed by the DOJ, like Amazon, were initially believed to fall under the purview of the FTC alone, lending heightened seriousness to the review. The full extent of actions from either agency, however, remains largely open-ended, and it’s possible both agencies may pursue separate probes into the same companies.

 

News of the DOJ’s move comes less than two weeks after the FTC fined Facebook for $5 billion over its handling of the Cambridge Analytica scandal—a wrist slap congressional Democrats found woefully inadequate—and hours after the Washington Post reported the agency had approved unprecedented oversight measure over Facebook’s privacy policies.

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ has already held closed-door hearings to receive testimony from critics of Facebook.

 

“If violations of law are identified,” the DOJ wrote this afternoon, “the Department will proceed appropriately to seek redress,” which would include issues outside the scope of antitrust that are nonetheless discovered during the process of their research.

 

Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook stocks all took a dip on release of the news and, if you listen closely with your ear towards the West coast, you can hear the sound of a thousand buttholes clenching.

 

Source :lmao:

 

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