House Judiciary Democrats Launch ‘Top-to-Bottom’ Antitrust Probe of Big Tech
The House Judiciary Committee said Monday that it will launch a “top-to-bottom” antitrust investigation of America’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook, and Google, making antitrust behavior of big tech a bipartisan issue.
The Democrat-led investigation arises after the Donald Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an antitrust investigation into Google, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has moved into its final steps towards a potential probe into Google.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said in a statement Monday, “The open Internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online. But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications.”
Although Congress does not have the regulatory power of the DOJ or the FTC, it can outline possible legislation and subpoena tech executives and documents relating to big tech’s practices on privacy, tech censorship, and competition.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who chairs the Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, will lead the investigation and said they will focus less on specific companies and more on the “tremendous concentration of market power” that Silicon Valley has on the Internet.
Cicilline said that he believes that regulatory agencies such as the FTC have been slow to act on antitrust in big tech.
“I don’t have a lot of confidence that these agencies will get the job done,” Cicilline said.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) noted that, in 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that Google abused its power as a monopoly in search.
Although many Democrats have cheered large tech companies, some prominent 2020 presidential Democrat candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have called for breaking up big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.