The Judiciary Committee launches a survey of giant technology companies such as Facebook and Google to determine whether they abuse their market dominance and violate the antitrust law.
"The open Internet has brought tremendous benefits to the Americans, including a wave of economic opportunity, massive investment and new paths to education online," said Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) chairman in a statement. "But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control of important arteries of electronic commerce, content and communication. "
The survey comes amid increasing tensions between regulators and Silicon Valley. Over the past few days, reports have discovered that Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department were arranged on which agency would be responsible for investigating some tech companies. The FTC will be responsible for Facebook and Amazon, and the Ministry of Justice will have the authority to go after Google and Apple.
In March, Sen. Elizabeth announced Warren (D-MA) that if he elected president in 2020, she would work to undo completed tech mergers (such as Instagram search pet from Facebook) and introduce legislation that enforces new competitive standards for technology companies.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) will lead the survey as head of the committee's antitrust sub-panel, saying today he would look at Silicon Valley in its entirety rather than targeting specific companies. Cicilline also said he would like to hear from the company's leaders and be able to issue sub-quotas if they do not agree to witness in the future.
Investigators will document competition issues, analyze whether large companies are abusing their power, and look at possible new laws that will address these concerns, according to a press release.
"Big Tech plays a major role in our economy and the world," Doug Collins (R-GA) said. "Since technology has expanded its market share, more and more issues have arisen if the market is still competitive. Our bipartite look at competition in the digital markets allows us to answer these questions and, if necessary, to do something."
Apple , Facebook and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Google refused to comment.