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Home / Business / AG Barr's promise to investigate Big Tech unites Democrats and Republicans

AG Barr's promise to investigate Big Tech unites Democrats and Republicans



President Donald Trump delivers his union address to a joint session of the US Congress on Capitol Hill on January 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Jim Bourg | Getty Images

Only Big Tech could collect Bill Barr and Elizabeth Warren.

Republicans and Democrats are doubling their criticism of Big Tech after US State Attorney William Barr announced late Tuesday that the Justice Department will open a broad antitrust review of major technology companies. He didn't give names, but shares in Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook traded lower on the news.

When the presidential election in 2020 is approaching and the democratic candidates set themselves up for their second debate next week, Big Tech criticizes the aisle ̵

1; although the details are different. The most outspoken democrats claim first and foremost that the major platforms are stifling fair competition, while Republicans have highly complained of anti-conservative bias.

"They are politically trapped in the cross-chairs," said Brian Yacktman, founder of YCG Investments, which oversees over $ 750 million and owns shares in Facebook and Alphabet. "What is bipartisan is that people are concerned that companies have too much power and too much control over data, so they want regulation."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) are among those who have different views on virtually everything, except for the criticism of Big Tech. Politicians were quick to express themselves after Tuesday's announcement from DOJ.

"Big technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google have tremendous monopolistic power," Elizabeth Warren quoted according to Barr's statement. "I have said that we need #BreakUpBigTech for a long time, and I support a legitimate antitrust investigation of these companies."

Another presidential candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), responded to the DOJ investigation, "For some time I have asked the antitrust agencies to investigate competitive practices from the major online platforms as well as for increased transparency."

Klobuchar is also a member of the Senate Judiciary's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Guidelines and Consumer Rights. "The American people deserve to know if these tech giants illegally choke competition and how our laws and enforcers can encourage innovation while protecting consumers," she added.

On the Republican side, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri thanked Barr for following through promises he gave to investigate major technology companies at the Confirmation hearings earlier this year.

"In January, AG Barr gave me his commitment to seriously take Big Tech antitrust concerns," Hawley wrote. "Glad to see him follow through."

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), a former venture capitalist, said that while supporting fair competition among businesses, "The Justice Department's mission is fact-based, and I hope their review will be driven by the facts and dynamics of those markets. rather than for political reasons beyond. "

Silicon Valley antitrust lawyer Gary Reback, who led the efforts that led to the government's case against Microsoft in the 1990s, told CNBC last month that extensive skepticism has left large technology companies like Google without political shelter.

"I have taken companies to Washington where they have complained about Google for a long time, and it was politicians who once blocked it, but the blockages are no longer there," he said.

Daniel Ives, Managing Director of Stock Research for Wedbush Securities, repeated this feeling.

"Big Tech already has a bullseye on the back from both sides of the aisle that goes into the election in 2020, so the rhetoric will only continue to increase," he said.

SE: DOJ officially launches antitrust probe


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