In a shot across the board of online titans Like Facebook, Google and Amazon, the Justice Department announced Tuesday it has opened a wide-ranging antitrust investigation of big technology companies and otherwise their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.
President Trump has relentlessly criticized the big tech companies by name in recent months. He and other top republicanans frequently assert that companies like Facebook and Google are biased against him and conservative politicians.
"Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands," "DOJ antitrust head Makan Delrahim said in a statement.
Antitrust law generally prohibits corporations from abusing monopoly power-to-harm consumers, and thus prohibits companies from conspiring to suppress anti-competitive activity.
In 2018, The Daily Caller published an article asserting that Google almost exclusively targets conservative sites for fact-checking – and, in the process, often erroneously attributes statements to the conservative sites. Others blamed a software bug for the problem.
Some researchers have alleged anti-conservative bias in Google's search results. Trump to the White House.
The DOJ's move comes as a growing number of lawmakers have
The Justice Department did not name specific companies in its announcement. But the DOJ did say it would look into "widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media and some retail services online."
Additionally, the "Department's Antitrust Division is conferring with and seeking information from The public, including industry participants who have direct insight into online platforms, as well as others, "the DOJ said.
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" Without The discipline of meaningful market-based competition, said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division.
The DOJ said it seeks to assess the competitive conditions in the online marketplace in an objective and fair-minded manner
FILE – In this April 10, 2018, file.
FILE – In this April 10, 2018, file Photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes his seat to testify before a judicial hearing on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 that the Federal Trade Commission wants all that Facebook misled users about (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File) “/>
Google made requests for comments to the testimony its director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, made to the House Judiciary Committee last week. Cohen reiterates the company's benefits to consumers.
"Google's control over what people hear, watch, read, and say unprecedented," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at the hearing , "Google can, and often does, control our discourse."
Cruz added: "The American people are subject to overt censorship and covert manipulation" by Google's algorithm.
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But Google's vice president of global government affairs and public policy, Karan Bhatia, defended the tech giant – arguing that the company has no political bias posted on its platforms. Bhatia said the company does censor or take some content, but denied that there was any political motivation behind it.
"We work hard to fix our mistakes," Bhatia said.
He added: "We are not censoring speech on our platforms … We have community guidelines against uploading, for example, videos that have violent imagery. "
Tim Cook, who said CBS last month does not think" anybody reasonable "would call Apple a monopoly.
Earlier, the Washington Post reported that the FTC wants that all 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal.
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Advertisers were reportedly provided to target users who provided
The FTC established its own watchdog to sample big technology companies earlier this year, and shares antitrust authority with the DOJ.
Fox News' Andrew O'Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.