ASPEN, Colorado, usa./WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice, has been working with a group of more than a dozen state attorneys-general, and if it is, the market power of the major technology companies, the department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: Makan Delrahim, an Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will speak on the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, USA, on April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Delrahim said at a tech conference held by the state, the study of acquisitions by the major tech companies that have were previously adopted as part of a broad anti-trust review was announced in July by the big tech companies with significant market power.
“These are some of the questions that are being raised … or was that the emerging competitors who may or may not have been wise to approve it,” Delrahim said. “Whether it is the intention of the incumbent to buy out some of the other competitors, I don’t know. I’m not privy to the facts of each of these studies.”
On the 23rd of July, the Department of Justice has said that it will open up a wide-ranging investigation into the question of whether the top digital technology companies that have engaged in anti-competitive practices, including concerns about search, social media, retail, and online services.”
This was a clear reference to the Alphabet, Inc. ‘ s (GOOGL.D) Google Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.(O) and Facebook Inc (FB.(O), and possibly Apple Inc (AAPL.D).
More than a dozen states are expected to be announced in the coming weeks they will launch a formal probe, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters.
“I think it’s safe to say that more than a dozen or so attorneys that have expressed an interest in the subject matter,” Delrahim said.
In July, eight state attorneys general in a meeting with the Attorney-General, William Barr, to discuss the impact of the major tech companies ahead of the competition, and the various anti-trust actions.
The New York Attorney General’s office said on Monday it is going in a bipartisan conversation about the unchecked power of the big tech companies.” North Carolina’s attorney general, Josh Stein, is also participating in a two-phase talks about this issue,” his office said.
The department is looking not only at price effects, but also in innovation and quality, and the following steps are involved in the broad anti-trust review, would be to search for documents and other information that is available, and it can also be a few mandatory requests, Delrahim said.
After the July announcement made by the company in the framework of the research project “immediately reached out to us, you will work in a cooperative manner to ensure that the information we have to offer for as far as the investigation,” Delrahim added to it.
The Federal Trade Commission in June, told Facebook had opened an anti-trust investigation. In the last month or so, the COMMISSION resolved, as a separate privacy probe into Facebook’s practices after the company agreed to pay up to $5 billion in fines.
Reporting by Katie Paul in Colorado; and David Shepardson, Washington Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Matthew Lewis)