Are BigTechs competing fairly - US antitrust enforcers analyse

Thursday 6 June 2019 09:17 CET | News

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice have divided oversight over Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon to investigate whether they compete fairly.

Amazon and Facebook are under the watch of the FTC, and Apple and Google under the Justice Department, sources told Reuters. The potential investigations have been welcomed by some consumer advocates, who say big technology companies stifle competition and hold too much influence over speech and commerce.

The Justice Department’s focus is expected to be on allegations that Google favours its own products in search results and abuses its clout in the online advertising market, although it is expected to look at all of the company’s businesses, sources told Reuters.

Google has said that changes to its search algorithms are made with consumers in mind, and that it is transparent in how it promotes its own services, the online publication ads.

Facebook has been called a social media monopoly and some software developers argue Apple has a monopoly on its app marketplace, and uses this power to demand hefty commissions and engage in other anticompetitive practices.

In the US, half of all online shopping transactions happen on Amazon, giving the ecommerce company influence over merchants that use its platforms.

Still, it is not known what aspects of Amazon, Facebook, and Apple could be investigated.

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Keywords: Federal Trade Commission, FTC, Alphabet, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, antitrust, monopoly
Countries: World