US States Are Reportedly Launching an Antitrust Investigation into Tech Giants

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A contingent of state attorneys general is perched to launch a joint antitrust investigation into Big Tech.

On July 23, the Justice Department said it was opening a broad investigation into whether major digital technology firms engaged in anticompetitive practices, including concerns raised about "search, social media, and some retail services online". It didn't name, names but the wording left no doubt that the subjects included Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Not only will the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have to gird themselves with more attorneys and lay out more cash to defend themselves, the mere size of having to fend off a dog pile of states wanting a pro-consumer resolution could be present difficulties.

The prosecutors' action coincides with a move by the Department of Justice, which announced its own antitrust review into big tech last month.

Consumers can hope for a similar outcome if the state attorneys generals' investigation comes to fruition.

The multi-state effort may be announced as soon as next month, the Journal reports, and would represent the third major government investigation underway into some of the largest American tech companies.

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"What you're seeing is more AGs of both parties trying to pursue this issue", Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat running for governor, said in a June interview with the Journal.

During recent public hearings on Capitol Hill, lawmakers have pressed tech companies on potential antitrust violation within their business models.

Delrahim said cooperation between the Justice Department and the states would reduce the burden on the companies being investigated.

The department would be looking not only at price effects, but also innovation and quality, and the next steps in its broad antitrust review would be seeking information, documents and possible compulsory process, Delrahim said at a tech policy conference in Colorado. And that investigation followed the Federal Trade Commission in February forming a task force to monitor competition among tech platforms.

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