States pushing forward on antitrust investigation of Apple, Google, Facebook, others

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 20
Following a July planning meeting with U.S. Attorney General William Barr, individual states appear poised to launch their own antitrust investigations of big tech sooner rather than later.

US Attorney General William Barr recently speaking about encryption
US Attorney General William Barr recently speaking about encryption


Up to 20 states are said to be participating in the coordinated investigation, following a preliminary meeting in July. A formal announcement about the effort is expected before the end of September.

"The attorneys general involved have concerns over the control of personal data by large tech companies and will hold them accountable for anticompetitive practices that endanger privacy and consumer data," a spokesman for New York Attorney General Letitia James told the Wall Street Journal.

When asked for comment, Google pointed to Congressional testimony in July. At the time, Google's Director of Economic Policy Adam Cohen said that the company had "helped reduce prices and expand choice for consumers and merchants in the U.S. and around the world."

Apple also pointed the Wall Street Journal to previous testimony.

The expansion and escalation follows the meeting with Barr that focused on "big tech companies stifling competition on the internet" according to Barr's office. Companies that are reportedly being investigated are Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook.

Eight state attorneys were reportedly in attendance, with four states positively identified as attending. For certain, representatives from Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and New York are involved in the probe.

The U.S. Department of Justice will also be holding a series of antitrust reviews into Facebook and Google, and their affect on competition in fields like search, social media, and online retail. There are also separate probes by the U.S. DOJ into Apple and Amazon's alleged monopolization, but elements may overlap with the new DOJ review.

The Federal Trade Commission has also been working on its own antitrust efforts since February, appointing a task force to monitor the industry.

Representatives from each of the four companies have already spoken to the House Judiciary Committee on the topic, with the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigating "platform gatekeepers" and "dominant firms." The subject of antitrust has also been brought up in the 2020 Presidential race, with a break-up of big firms called for by Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

This is not the only technology-related area Barr has waded into as of late. On July 23, Barr rekindled the ongoing encryption debate, claiming encryption is "already imposing huge costs on society" by making it hard for law enforcement to investigate crimes, while also calling for tech firms to stop producing "dogmatic pronouncements" against backdoors and to instead produce them.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    I’m waiting for some incorporated towns to launch their investigations next....
    ’Lets all jump on the money pile (fines) bandwagon.’
    jahbladegilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member

    The U.S. Department of Justice will also be holding a series of antitrust reviews into Facebook and Google, and their affect on competition in fields like search, social media, and online retail. There are also separate probes by the US DOJ into Apple and Amazon's alleged monopolization, but elements may overlap with the new DOJ review.

    The Federal Trade Commission has also been working on its own antitrust efforts since February, appointing a task force to monitor the industry. 
    The previous AI article you linked says:
    "Separate DOJ probes of Apple and Google monopolization are being prepared, but threads could intersect with the review, officials added. The FTC is expected to tackle monopolization issues at Amazon and Facebook, the latter of which has already been hit with a $5 billion fine over the Cambridge Analytica scandal."

    So DoJ was in charge of Google and Apple investigations and the FTC was leading the Amazon/Facebook probes. Now you indicate responsibilities have changed or did the authors make a mistake/get confused? Unclear who is looking at who and why. 
    edited August 20
  • Reply 3 of 10
    gatorguy said:

    The U.S. Department of Justice will also be holding a series of antitrust reviews into Facebook and Google, and their affect on competition in fields like search, social media, and online retail. There are also separate probes by the US DOJ into Apple and Amazon's alleged monopolization, but elements may overlap with the new DOJ review.

    The Federal Trade Commission has also been working on its own antitrust efforts since February, appointing a task force to monitor the industry. 
    The previous AI article you linked says:
    "Separate DOJ probes of Apple and Google monopolization are being prepared, but threads could intersect with the review, officials added. The FTC is expected to tackle monopolization issues at Amazon and Facebook, the latter of which has already been hit with a $5 billion fine over the Cambridge Analytica scandal."

    So DoJ was in charge of Google and Apple investigations and the FTC was leading the Amazon/Facebook probes. Now you indicate responsibilities have changed or did the authors make a mistake/get confused? Unclear who is looking at who and why. 
    Write it off as political grandstanding and call it a day.  Assume there’s always an “investigation” on all these companies.  It anything comes from these, it’s safe to assume it will be a minuscule fine.  
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Destroy them all.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,784member
    Said it years ago when the government first started sniffing around Google. 

    “You think Apple won’t be next?”

    cornchipmuthuk_vanalingamdysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,798member
    The GOP attorney general getting revenge on Apple for not giving them backdoor encryption keys. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,798member
    Destroy them all.
    Indeed, presuming you're referring to these grandstanding, swamp-dwelling politicians. 
    gilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 293member
    The GOP attorney general getting revenge on Apple for not giving them backdoor encryption keys. 
    That’s exactly what it is. Plain and simple IMO. Yeah the government cares about protecting me. I have a villa in Tuscany that I’m willing to sell you for cheap. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,343member
    Which states?

    I've said before, and will say again, that I’d welcome this under any other administration. I find the notion of regulation as sought by THIS administration to be highly suspect. This is the “we’re getting rid of all kinds of regulation” administration. I think this is purely partisan politics and a challenge of power, especially in regard to the dissemination of information.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    dysamoria said:
    Which states?

    I've said before, and will say again, that I’d welcome this under any other administration. I find the notion of regulation as sought by THIS administration to be highly suspect. This is the “we’re getting rid of all kinds of regulation” administration. I think this is purely partisan politics and a challenge of power, especially in regard to the dissemination of information.
    Both Republican and Democratic led so it doesn't look to be partisan at least on the surface. Florida, North Carolina, Mississippi (of course), Texas, and another 15 rumored to be interested in joining. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
Sign In or Register to comment.