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TARGET: TECH Big Tech in cross-hairs as DoJ, FTC and House Judiciary Committee take aim at their practices

Jun 04, 2019

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  • Big Tech companies in the United States are about to come under intense scrutiny by the US Justice Department, the US Federal Trade Commission and the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee
  • The DoJ and FTC have divided up responsibilities for the investigations that are expected to come
  • Google and Facebook seem to be the closest to an investigation, the WSJ reports
  • The FTC recently said it would be investigating competition among big tech companies when it set up a task force focused on this a couple of months ago
  • The task force will reevaluate past government decisions that permitted big tech companies to acquire smaller tech companies that had the potential to become competitors
  • The WSJ reports that of particular interest are Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram
  • The head of the FTC said recently it would make sense for the FTC to look at situations where Big Tech has accumulated “significant market power”
  • The FTC has been investigating Facebook over its privacy practices and all indications are that its probe is about to widen significantly
  • The DoJ is focused on how the competitive landscape has changed in the markets where Big Teck operates, especially where it has amassed power
  • The House Judiciary Committee, in a separate endeavor, will look at competition on the digital marketplace, and is expected to hold a series of hearings 
  • The Head of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, commented the following:
    • “The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans”
    • “But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content and communications.”
  • Most analyst expect the investigations into Big Tech to drag on for quite some time, potentially weighing down the tech sector for an extended period
     

 

 

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