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DOJ opens sweeping antitrust review of large technology giants and says that they can work against consumers




In a shot over the bow of online titans such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, the Ministry of Justice announced on Tuesday that it has opened a comprehensive antitrust investigation of major technology companies and whether their online platforms have harmed the competition, suppressed innovation or other damaged consumers.

President Trump has ruthlessly criticized the major technology companies with names in recent months. He and other top republicans often argue that companies like Facebook and Google are biased towards him and conservative politicians.

"Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms can act in ways that do not match consumer demands," said DOJ antitrust hero Makan Delrahim in a statement. "The Department's antitrust review will explore these important issues."

Big tech giants were in DOJ's cross stools on Tuesday. “/>

Big tech giants were in DOJ's crosshairs on Tuesday.

The Antitrust Act generally prohibits companies from abusing monopoly power to harm consumers, and also prohibits companies from conspiring to set prices or suppress competition through other anti-competitive activities.

In 201[ads1]8, The Daily Caller published an article claiming that Google is almost exclusively aimed at conservative fact-checking sites – and in the process often misrepresents the conservative sites. Others accused a software error of the problem.

Some researchers have claimed anti-conservative bias in Google's search results. A leaked video of top Google executives who conducted a corporate meeting after the 2016 election, showed them tearfully regretting the results of the race, which would send Trump to the White House.

DOJ's move comes as a growing number of lawmakers have called for stricter regulations or even to break up major technology companies, which have been under intense scrutiny for a number of scandals that compromised users' privacy.

The Ministry of Justice did not name specific companies in the announcement. But DOJ said it would look at "extensive concerns expressed by consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs about search, social media and some online retailing services."

In addition, "the department's antitrust division and searches information from the public, including industry participants who have direct insight into competition in online platforms, as well as others," said DOJ.

GOOGLE VP THE GRILL IN HEARING ABOUT ALLEGED BIAS AGAINST CONSERVATIVES

"Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms can operate in ways that do not meet consumer demands," said assistant lawyer Makan Delrahim from the antitrust division. "Department's antitrust review Want to explore these important issues. "

DOJ said it will seek to" assess the competitive environment in the online marketplace in an objective and fair manner and to ensure Americans access to free markets where companies compete for the benefits of providing services that users want. .

"If the violation of the laws is identified, the department will proceed properly in seeking redress," the conclusion stated.

  FILE - In this April 10, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the place to witness before a joint hearing of the committees of commerce and justice on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Washington Post reported Tuesday, July 23, 2019 that the Federal Trade Commission will claim that Facebook mislead users about its privacy practices as part of an expected settlement. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File)

FILE – In this April 10, 2018, file photo as CEO of Facebook marks Mark Zuckerberg's place to establish before a joint hearing of the Trade and Justice Committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Washington Post reported Tuesday, July 23, 2019 that the Federal Trade Commission will claim that Facebook mislead users about privacy practices as part of an expected settlement. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, File)

Google made comments on the testimony that his Chief Financial Officer, Adam Cohen, gave to the House Judges Committee last week. Cohen repeated the company's benefits to consumers.

"Google's control over what people hear, see, read, and say is outstanding," said Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leader of the Senate jurisdiction, during the hearing. "Google can, and often does, control our discourse."

Cruz added: "The American people are subject to overt censorship and hidden manipulation" of Google's algorithm.

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But Google's Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy, Karan Bhatia, defended the technological giant – and claimed that the company has no political bias and does not monitor content posted on the platforms. Bhatia noted that the company censors or takes down some content, but denied that there was any political motivation behind it.

"We are working hard to fix our mistakes," Bhatia said. "But these errors have affected both parties and are not a product of bias."

He added: "We do not censor speech on our platforms … We have community policies against uploading, such as videos that have violent images."

Apple referred to comments from CEO Tim Cook, who told CBS last month that he did not think "anyone who is reasonable" would call Apple a monopoly.

Previously, the Washington Post reported that the FTC will claim the Facebook misleading users about its privacy practices as part of an expected settlement of its 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal. handled phone numbers it requested as part of a security feature provided insufficient information on how to disable a face recognition tool for images.

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Advertisers could allegedly target users who provided their phone number as part of a two-factor authentication security feature.

The FTC established its own watchdog to investigate large technology companies earlier this year, and shares the antitrust authority with DOJ.

Fox News & # 39; Andrew O & # 39; Reilly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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