State chief law officers will supposedly start antitrust examination into tech giants


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Tech giants might be dealing with more antitrust evaluation.

Angela Lang/CNET

Another antitrust examination will be started versus United States tech giants, according to a report, this time originating from a group of state chief law officers. Citing sources, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday the probe might be introduced in September and might check out whether business like Google, Facebook and Amazon utilize their power to suppress competitors in the market.

It follows the Department of Justice last month revealing its own antitrust evaluation of how online platforms accomplished market power and whether they are utilizing that power to lower competitors and suppress development. And that examination followed the Federal Trade Commission in February forming a job force to keep an eye on competitors amongst tech platforms.

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A dozen state attorneys general met with officials from the Department of Justice in July to discuss the investigation, the report said.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Google pointed to its antitrust testimony from last month before the House Committee on the Judiciary, when it said it has “helped reduce prices and expand choice for consumers and merchants.” Facebook and Amazon declined to comment.

“The department’s review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online,” the Justice Department said on July 23.

US tech giants have also faced recent antitrust scrutiny in Russia, the EU and Australia.

On Tuesday, DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim confirmed that he’s working with over a dozen state attorneys general on investigating major technology companies’ market power. The DOJ didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published Aug. 19, 3:18 p.m. PT.
Updates, 4:05 p.m.: Amazon and Facebook declined to comment; Aug. 20: Adds mention of DOJ antitrust chief’s comment about an inquiry.

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