The Justice Department said Tuesday it had launched an inquiry into the market power of major online platforms and whether they are “are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers.”
Why it matters: While the announcement mentioned no specific companies, its reference to looking at concerns about “search, social media, and some retail services online” would appear to point towards Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Trump, who has been a regular critic of Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, has claimed that Facebook is biased against conservatives and recently agreed with an assessment by tech investor Peter Thiel that perhaps Google should be investigated for not working with the U.S. government on a cloud project.
“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” said Makan Delrahim, assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, in a statement. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”
Months and months of right wing screaming about big tech censorship, but this probe comes just a few days after billionaire homocon Thiel complained to Congress.