The Department of Justice is launching a broad-sweeping investigation into some of the biggest names in tech, looking into “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers.”
Though the DOJ hasn’t named any of the companies it will be looking into, Apple, Google, and Facebook are all preparing to come into focus. One former assistant attorney general believes Amazon is particularly primed for potential regulation.
Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute and a former Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Bureau of New York State, has been keeping watch on the tech giant since about 2016. On Wednesday, she told Yahoo Finance’s YFI AM that “there is plenty there for enforcers to go after,” especially in its retail practices.
‘You’ve made competition impossible’
Just last week, the European Union’s top antitrust regulator revealed it was widening an investigation into whether Amazon exploited data from third-party sellers to promote its own products over competitors.
“Just because you’ve disrupted an industry alone isn’t going to get you in trouble,” Hubbard said. “What’s going to get you in trouble is exclusionary conduct, where you’ve made competition impossible.”