When it rains, it pours. Big Tech companies have lost more than $140 billion in market value as the Justice Department and Federal trade Commission announced impending investigations.
The two arms of government are preparing antitrust investigations for Big Tech companies. According to CNN Business, several stocks have tanked shortly afterward. “Alphabet/Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have collectively lost nearly $145 billion in market value” as of this afternoon. This has occured as leaders from both sides of the aisle have agreed that tech companies are behaving as powerful monopolies.
As OANN Anchor Jack Posobiec summarized, “both Google and Facebook” will be under investigation for “antitrust, monopoly, and unfair business practice.” He added that, “The Google investigation will be run by the DOJ” and “The Facebook investigation will be run by FTC.”
As the Wall Street Journal described, the Justice Department’s task will be to “closely examine Google’s business practices related to its search and other businesses.”
SFGate wrote that a similar fate may soon befall Amazon. The company has enjoyed both dominance of online retail as well as a high place on the hit list of many antitrust-oriented politicians. ”Politicians have long raised concerns that Amazon's dominance in online retail - as well as its growing reach across a variety of business fields - has given it too much power,” SFGate reported.
As The Wall Street Journal explained in a second piece of June 1 coverage, both Republican and Democrat leaders have been rattling their sabers against Big Tech: “Republicans have raised pressure on firms over alleged anti conservative bias. And the company will find little political cover on the other side of the aisle where some Democrats are also wary of Google’s influence.”
In an April hearing, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz threw down the gauntlet when he said, “If we have tech companies using the power of monopoly to censor political speech, I think that raises real antitrust issues.” Other political figures ranging from Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren to former Trump strategist Steve Bannon have called for the breakup of tech companies.
Government regulators have been pressured for months to take action against Big Tech. The Media Research Center sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr, with the Free Speech Alliance on February 21. The letter was signed by 32 conservative leaders calling for Barr to launch an investigation into Google, Facebook and Twitter.
An excerpt from the letter read:
"Respecting these entities’ own constitutional rights, we believe there nevertheless is ample probable cause of antitrust violations and of conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of conservatives, and possible collusion to violate laws governing America’s campaign finance system and elections."