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Note: Google, Facebook may face in the US anti-trust probe

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether big technology companies have engaged in anti-competitive behaviour, how to deal with a rising tide of criticism, they are too strong, to the detriment of the consumer.

FILE PHOTO: a Small toy figures are seen in front of a Google logo, in this illustration, the picture, April 8, 2019. REUTERS/dado Ruvic/Image/File Photo

The Ministry of Justice has said that it will investigate “whether and how online platforms for search, social media, retail, services, online, in conduct that stifles competition and harms consumers.

While the Department of Justice has failed to do so, all of the targets set out in the announcement of the probe on Tuesday, sources have indicated that Alphabet, Inc. ‘ s Google’s (GOOGL.(O) social media giant Facebook Inc’s (FB.D) online store Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.D) is likely to be made.

Here’s what the regulators can focus on large technology companies such as:

GOOGLE

The Justice Department is expected to focus on allegations that Google harms competition by favoring its own products in its search results, but sources told Reuters that the department will be looking into all of Google’s businesses, including the advertising and the Android mobile platform.

Google has said that it will be transparent in how it promotes its own services, and changes to the search algorithms have to be made with the consumer in mind.

Google has also faced criticism for potentially abusing its dominant position in the world of advertising. Platforms that want to host advertisements on their own sites and often have to go through Google or Facebook to do so.

The european anti-trust regulators fined Google $5 billion in 2018, and it is ordered to stop the use of the Android platform and blocking competition. In the European Union, alleging that Google’s unlawful actions, the force that the manufacturers of devices that use the Android platform on their phones pre-installed Google apps on the devices, to block competitors ‘ apps.

Google said in a blog post that it has “more to do to make sure that” Android users will have to know about the other options that they will be able to download.

Republican U.S. lawmakers have charged that Google and other tech companies are biased against the more conservative voices. Republican Senator Ted Cruz said in April that “the use of the powers of a monopoly to censor the political speech raises real antitrust issues.”

Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, has denied the allegations in a Fox News op-ed, and the Democrats are saying that there is no evidence to support the charges.

FACEBOOK

Facebook has been facing criticism, it is because, with more than 2.4 billion monthly active users by April this year, about one-third of the world’s population.

In 2012, Facebook purchased the social media app, Instagram, is one of its competitors. In 2014, it bought one of its competitors, the messaging platform, WhatsApp.

At a U.S. House of Representatives hearing last week, Facebook head of global policy development, by Matt Perault highlights Facebook competitors, as a proof, it is not a monopoly.

Critics have called for Facebook to sell it for WhatsApp and Instagram.

The company has also been criticized for the copy of the “story” function, which is a competitor Snapchat (SNAP-in.(N) it is well known that the performance of the option to share a photo of it temporarily on both Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook does not immediately respond to a request for comment.

AMAZON

In the United States, about half of all online shopping transactions are done on Amazon, so the e-commerce company in swinging over the traders that use the platform. Amazon has been criticised for its control over the third-party sellers on its website, which will have to pay for advertising in order to compete with first-party and private-label sales of Amazon’s own brand.

Amazon also has a lot to do with the criticism that the low prices have hurt the brick-and-mortar retailers, a number of which have been closed because they were not competing with each other.

But in 2018, in a letter to shareholders, Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Bezos said, “Amazon continues to be a small player in the global retail, as most of the market is still off-line.

In the Amazon, an agreement has been reached with the German authorities last week to amend the contract with third party traders, after an investigation into the complaints made by the vendors to the terms and conditions were unfair.

The european Union regulators to investigate Amazon for the details of the agreement with the sellers. The European Commission is looking for feedback about the Amazon’s role as a market town for the merchants, and as a competitor in the market.

The US treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday there was “no doubt” that the Amazon is limited, and the competition, and is contrary to AMERICAN retailers.

In response, an Amazon spokesperson, said that small businesses are “the flowering Amazon”, and that the independent sellers are more than 58% of the gross sales of the merchandise.

Slideshow (3 Images) – APPLE

Last month, the app’s developer, Donald R. Cameron, and of Illinois, of Pure Sweat Basketball, alleged in federal court that the company’s policy is to only download ipad apps from the official App Store is anti-competitive. Apple mandates developers to set the price of apps in the layers, it ends in 99 cents, and lasts for up to a 30% commission from the developers of the app will be for sale.

The music-streaming app, Spotify (SPOT light.(N) it has been claimed that the App Store policy is making it difficult for it to compete with Apple and the Music for subscribers.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, told CBS News in an interview that Apple does not have a dominant position in the market.

Report by Bryan Pietsch; Editing by Chris Sanders and Tom Brown

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