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Federal regulators and Congress take aim at tech giants with antitrust probes

Sweeping probes into big tech companies

Washington — The Trump administration and members of Congress are gearing up for sweeping probes into large technology companies, with lawmakers vowing to scrutinize the "extraordinary power" wielded by a handful of multi-billion-dollar corporations.

Federal antitrust regulators are pursuing investigations into Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon, with the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) splitting the investigative work, according to an employee of one of the companies who was not authorized to speak publicly. The investigative actions by the administration were first reported by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

All four companies declined to comment Monday night.

Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee announced a bipartisan probe into market dominance by a small number of tech giants.

"The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online," committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler wrote in a statement Monday. "But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications."

Nadler's committee will examine whether a handful of Silicon Valley giants have been engaging in "anti-competitive" behavior and determine whether existing antitrust laws have been effective and foster a competitive industry. The lawmakers pledged to oversee of "top-to-bottom review."

Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the committee's top Republican, said Congress will take action if it deems it necessary as they conduct the investigation.

"As tech has expanded its market share, more and more questions have arisen about whether the market remains competitive," Collins added. 

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