Big Tech investigation: USA antitrust chief working with states

States reportedly plan monopoly investigation of Google Facebook Amazon

States reportedly plan monopoly investigation of Google Facebook Amazon

Top prosecutors from a group of USA states are readying a joint investigation into whether major technology firms have violated antitrust law, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Delrahim said at a tech conference that the government is studying previously-approved acquisitions as part of a broad antitrust review that was announced in July and that scrutinises major tech firms with significant market power.

Companies that are subjects of the Justice Department investigation are cooperating with investigators to provide information, Delrahim said. "I'm not privy to the facts of each of those investigations".

"A dozen" state attorneys general met with officials from the Department of Justice in July to discuss the investigation, the report said.

The big four, Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon, have been accused of using their marketplace dominance to bulldoze opposition. As many as 20 states could be involved, but the exact number has not been finalized.

"There is growing evidence that a handful of corporations have come to capture an outsized share of online commerce and communications", Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said during the hearing with top tech executives in July.

A group of state attorneys general is working on a joint antitrust investigation into technology firms, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Because the tentacles of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple reach so many industries, any investigation into them could last for years.

The four big tech companies likely to be scrutinized declined to comment.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is also "participating in bipartisan conversations about this issue", his office said. Its broad antitrust review would next be seeking documents, and could include some compulsory requests, Delrahim said.

In February, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had created a task force dedicated to monitoring antitrust violation in the US tech sector and "taking enforcement actions when warranted".