Google parent Alphabet., Amazon, Facebook and Apple Inc. appear set to undergo U.S. antitrust probes after the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to split up oversight of technology giants.
The DOJ’s is set to investigate Google and potentially anti-competitive actions.
Bloomberg and Reuters reported on Monday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commmission (FTC) would oversee antitrust scrutiny into whether Facebook’s practices harm competition in the digital market.
The moves come as the Justice Department and the FTC agreed to split up antitrust oversight of technology giants, with the antitrust division taking over scrutiny Google and the FTC getting oversight of Amazon.com Inc.
Amazon could also be scrutinized as a result of a new agreement between regulators that puts it under the jurisdiction of the FTC, the Washington Post reported over the weekend.
Reuters also reported that the U.S. Justice Department has jurisdiction for a potential probe of Apple Inc as part of a broader review of technology giants.
Spotify Technology SA and others have criticized the iPhone maker’s practices, describing the company as anti-competitive in a complaint to the European Union’s antitrust regulators. Central to Spotify’s complaint is a 30% fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system.
Technology companies are facing a backlash in the United States and across the world, fueled by some people’s belief that the firms have too much power and are exerting a harmful effect on users or competitive marketplaces.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren laid out a detailed plan for breaking up the tech giants in March.
European officials have already been pursuing antitrust cases against American tech firms, including Google, while so far the U.S. has been mostly hands-off.
The FTC earlier this year set up a task force to examine the conduct of tech companies and their past mergers. Many Republicans have complained that Facebook, Google and Twitter Inc. suppress conservative views.