American state attorneys general begin bipartisan antitrust investigations into Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

Charlene Vos

2019-10-21 10:35:00 Mon ET

American state attorneys general begin bipartisan antitrust investigations into the market power and corporate behavior of central tech titans such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. From all U.S. states except California and Alabama, the key state attorneys general (AGs) launch bipartisan antitrust investigations into the current tech business practices. Specifically, the state AGs assess whether it is legitimate for Facebook, Google, and Amazon etc to connect online ads to specific Internet platform search and newsfeed results. Moreover, the state AGs examine whether Apple monopolizes the markets for mobile apps and multi-media services via App Store and its music and video partnerships with Spotify and Oprah Winfrey Network. However, these tech titans run different business models. Facebook finds its unique business niche in social media ads; Google dominates in Internet search and key other software services; Amazon specializes in e-commerce for consumer products; and Apple focuses on smart mobile devices and app services.

Throughout this new antitrust probe, the main economic thread suggests that these tech titans may amass anti-competitive market power. The investigative group of 48 state AGs thus poses a major antitrust threat to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. With new regulations, the potential fines and penalties can involve billions of dollars for these tech titans.

 


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