U.S. Justice Department Opens Antitrust Probe Against Major Tech Companies
The United States Justice Department started an antitrust investigation against Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, July 23.
The regulator will review whether the tech giants were violating the competition rules in such areas as web search, social media, and retail. The antitrust probe will be led by Attorney General William Barr.
The U.S. DOJ will examine the pace of companies' growth and the additional businesses they acquired. The watchdog also wants to find out how users' data is treated by major companies.
Following the announcement, the shares for the mentioned companies have seen a mild decline. While Apple and Google's parent company Alphabet were down by 0.4% and 0.96%, respectively, Amazon lost 1.13%, and Facebook about 1.65%.
In February, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created a task force in order to combat monopolies and prevent the possible violation of antitrust regulations.
In July, U.S. authorities introduced a draft bill dubbed “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” which aims to bar major tech companies from acting as financial institutions. The move came after Facebook announced its long-awaited cryptocurrency Libra.