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Technology Democrats Slam Big Tech in Call for Antitrust Crackdown

13:40  16 october  2019
13:40  16 october  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

DOJ is working with states on antitrust investigations of tech companies

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Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls assailed the power that the biggest U.S. corporations have Asked why he previously said he didn’t support Warren’s call to break up big tech companies U.S. antitrust enforcers approved those deals without objection. Their counterparts in Europe have taken

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(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidates vowed to rein in dominant tech companies through tougher antitrust enforcement, complaining that companies like Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are too big and powerful.

The candidates said Tuesday night at the Democratic presidential debate in Ohio that the U.S. suffers from monopoly power across the economy and they supported more vigorous enforcement of antitrust laws.

“We have a massive crisis in our democracy with the way these tech companies are being used, not just in terms of anti-competitive practices but also to undermine our Democracy,” said Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

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Now, big tech faces a high-stakes battle over their business model that could last for years. And the industry finds itself with few allies, with “The term investigation only applies in that Republican and Democrat Members are looking broadly into questions that have arisen about competition in tech

Tucker: Democrats don't seem happy about impeachment - Продолжительность: 7:53 Fox News 811 792 просмотра. GOP leaders slam Dems for not calling Inspector General Horowitz to testify - Продолжительность: 2:52 Fox Business 38 746 просмотров.

The debate underscored that support for a tougher approach to dealing with big technology companies goes beyond Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has called for breaking up Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Warren called out Amazon specifically for running an online marketplace and competing with third-party sellers on the platform.

“You get to be the umpire in the baseball game or you get to have a team, but you don’t get to do both at the same time,” Warren said. “We need to enforce our antitrust laws. Break up these giant companies that are dominating – big tech, big pharma, big oil. all of them.”

Still, there were differences among them in approach. Andrew Yang said breaking up tech companies won’t revive main street businesses. Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke said tech companies should be treated like publishers instead of like utilities. He criticized Warren for targeting specific companies, something he said President Donald Trump has done.

Congressional antitrust panel to discuss Big Tech competition

Congressional antitrust panel to discuss Big Tech competition The Senate's antitrust panel will meet later this month to discuss concerns that tech giants, such as Google or Amazon, seek to buy smaller rivals in order to head off competition. © Ng Han Guan "Big technology companies have become some of the most powerful organizations in the world," Sen. Amy Klobuchar said. Senators Mike Lee and Amy Klobuchar, the chairman and top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, said the hearing was scheduled for Sept. 24 but did not list witnesses.

Elizabeth Warren announced her grand antitrust proposal to break up big tech firms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, arguing that their sheer size and market power have staved off innovation and made the industry uncompetitive. Other 2020 Democrats were forced to respond on the debate stage.

Democrats running for president had their most vigorous debate yet about the power of tech She shifted from the antitrust question and instead tried to press Warren on why she would not call for Elizabeth Warren compares Big Tech to Big Oil in a new fundraising ban It was only a matter of time

“We will be unafraid to break up big businesses if we have to do that,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s the role of a president or a candidate for the presidency to specifically call out which companies will be broken up.”

Harris and O’Rourke criticized social media companies for unevenly enforcing their rules for political content. Their comments came days after Warren’s campaign bought Facebook ads claiming Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had endorsed President Donald Trump -- a falsehood quickly corrected in the ad itself but used to showcase that politicians can lie on the platform.

Tech companies are facing rising bipartisan pressure throughout the U.S., and the Trump administration, Congress and even the states have quickly ramped up pressure on the companies, particularly on the question of whether they use their size to squelch competition.

Google could soon face another antitrust investigation

Google could soon face another antitrust investigation Next week, more than half of the nation's attorneys general are expected to announce an antitrust investigation into Google, The Washington Post reports. Details on the investigation are limited, but it's yet another probe into fears that big tech has amassed too much power. Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed concerns that just a handful of companies control the internet and technology at large. Earlier this summer, a House antitrust subcommitteegrilled executives from Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Big Tech is reducing consumer choice and harming innovation, according to a British government report released on Wednesday. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat of Minnesota who is also making a White House bid, has proposed taxes and antitrust laws against the industry.

Big technology and telecoms companies have embarked on a hiring spree of former antitrust officials as their industries gear up for what experts warn could be an “existential” battle over whether they should be broken up. In the last few months, Facebook, Amazon and AT&T have all hired senior

Alphabet Inc.’s Google faces antitrust probes by the Justice Department, and a separate investigation by a group of 51 attorneys general led by Texas who have demanded documents on the company’s sprawling and lucrative digital ads business. The Federal Trade Commission is also speaking to third-party merchants who sell through Amazon, Bloomberg has reported.

For more: Amazon Probed by U.S. Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

Both the FTC and Justice Department, which split antitrust jurisdiction, are also probing the technology sector general, as is a congressional committee led by Democratic Representative David Cicilline that issued extensive document requests to Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple Inc. in September.

After years of hands-off approach by policy-makers, Washington’s concerns have followed a swift decrease in the public’s positive attitudes toward big tech. Just 50% of U.S. adults said technology companies have a positive impact on the country, down from 71% in four years earlier, according to Pew Research Center survey results released July 29. Pew has previously found that a majority of Americans think tech wields too much power.

--With assistance from Ben Brody.

To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Facebook is facing an EU investigation over data collection .
Google isn't the only tech giant facing an investigation from European Union antitrust regulators over data collection and monetization. The European Commission has Facebook in its sights too. The body told Reuters it started preliminary investigations into how both companies handle data. "These investigations concern the way data is gathered, processed, used and monetized including for advertising purposes," the EU's competition watchdog said.The body told Reuters it started preliminary investigations into how both companies handle data. "These investigations concern the way data is gathered, processed, used and monetized including for advertising purposes," the EU's competition watchdog said.

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