House lawmakers who spent the last 16 months investigating the practices of the world’s largest technology companies said on Tuesday that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had exercised and abused their monopoly power and called for the most sweeping changes to antitrust laws in half a century.
In a 449-page report that was presented by the House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic leadership, lawmakers said the four companies had turned from “scrappy” start-ups into “the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.” The lawmakers said the companies had abused their dominant positions, setting and often dictating prices and rules for commerce, search, advertising, social networking and publishing.
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House investigation faults Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for engaging in anti-competitive monopoly tactics
Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google engaged in anti-competitive, monopoly-style tactics to evolve into four of the world’s most powerful corporate behemoths, according to congressional investigators who called in a wide-ranging report released Tuesday for sweeping changes to federal laws so that government regulators can bring Silicon Valley back in check.
The approximately 450-page document, capping a roughly 16-month investigation by the House’s top antitrust panel, found that the four tech giants relied on dubious, harmful means to solidify their dominance in Web search, smartphones, social networking and shopping — and in the process evaded the very federal regulators whose primary task is to ensure that companies do not grow into such unmatched corporate titans.
US tech giants accused of ‘monopoly power’
A report backed by Democratic lawmakers has urged changes that could lead to the break-up of some of America’s biggest tech companies.
The recommendation follows a 16-month congressional investigation into Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.
“These firms have too much power, and that power must be reined in,” Democratic lawmakers working on the probe wrote.
But Republicans involved in the effort did not agree with the recommendations.
Big Tech Was Their Enemy, Until Partisanship Fractured the Battle Plans
For all the divisions in Washington, one issue that had united Republicans and Democrats in recent years was their animus toward the power of the biggest tech companies.
That bipartisanship was supposed to come together this week in a landmark House report that caps a 15-month investigation into the practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The report was set to feature recommendations from lawmakers to rein in the companies, including the most sweeping changes to U.S. antitrust laws in half a century.