Factbox: Big Tech’s market dominance spurs numerous U.S. antitrust probes

In this news, we discuss the Factbox: Big Tech’s market dominance spurs numerous U.S. antitrust probes.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The big four Tech companies – Alphabet’s Google GOOGL.O, Amazon AMZN.O, Apple AAPL.O and Facebook FB.O – face a string of federal and state antitrust investigations that came to light in mid-2019.

While Democrats can be seen as tougher on antitrust regulation, traditional Republicans’ concerns about overshooting the regulation appear to be overtaken by anger over claims that Big Tech tries to stifle conservative voices.

Here are the ongoing investigations:

Justice Department on Google: The US Department of Justice is expected to file a relatively small complaint within two weeks, accusing Google of seeking to put rivals at a disadvantage in search and lucrative search advertising.

Department of Justice on Apple: This investigation, which was revealed in June 2019, appears to be focused on the Apple App Store. Some app developers have accused Apple of introducing new products and then releasing apps that compete with them. Apple says it wants to have only the highest quality apps in the App Store.

Ministry of Justice on Facebook and Amazon: In July 2019, the Justice Department said it was expanding its Tech polls to include “research, social media and certain online retail services” – an apparent reference to Facebook and Amazon too.

Federal Trade Commission on Facebook: FTC officials poll Facebook asked about past acquisitions, like Instagram and WhatsApp, and how Facebook treats application developers on its platform. The FTC said Facebook in June 2019, he was investigating whether the company had engaged in illegal monopoly practices.

Federal Trade Commission on Amazon: In its investigation of Amazon, the FTC is likely examining Amazon’s inherent conflict of interest in competing with small sellers on its marketplace platform, including allegations that it used the information from sellers on its platform to decide which products it would introduce.

State prosecutors poll Google: Texas-led group of attorneys general expected to file digital advertising-focused lawsuit, while Colorado-led group is considering broader lawsuit against Google that could also include concerns about his Android activity.

Probe of the attorneys general Facebook: New York Attorney General Letitia James, who leads the Attorney General’s investigation Facebook, said the investigation would examine whether the company’s actions jeopardized consumer data, reduced consumer choice, or increased the price of advertising.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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