Tech Lower After Reports of Antitrust Probe - Tech Roundup

23 Août, 2019, 04:23 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • U.S. DoJ antitrust chief says working with states on Big Tech probe

The technology sector fell after The Wall Street Journal reported that a group of states was embarking on an antitrust probe of tech giants that may dovetail with a Justice Department investigation already in the works.

Delrahim said at a tech conference that the government is studying previously-approved acquisitions as part of a broad antitrust review that was announced in July and that scrutinises major tech firms with significant market power.

But Delrahim also said he did not know whether the companies' intent was to purchase those competitors. Not only will the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have to gird themselves with more attorneys and lay out more cash to defend themselves, the mere size of having to fend off a dog pile of states wanting a pro-consumer resolution could be present difficulties.

"There is growing evidence that a handful of corporations have come to capture an outsized share of online commerce and communications", Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said during the hearing with top tech executives in July.

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After a recent attorneys general meeting, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement saying that the group discussed "the real concerns consumers across the country have with big tech companies stifling competition on the internet". "I'm pleased that several state attorneys general are now conducting their own investigation into the dominance of these firms".

The New York Attorney General's office said on Monday it is continuing to "engage in bipartisan conversations about the unchecked power of large tech companies".

The department is looking not only at price effects, but also innovation and quality, and the next steps in its broad antitrust review would be seeking documents and other information and could include some compulsory requests, Delrahim said. Their investigations into companies like Alphabet's Google and Facebook would likely be done in coordination with investigations by the U.S. Justice Department. And that investigation followed the Federal Trade Commission in February forming a task force to monitor competition among tech platforms.

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