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US investigates Twitter, Facebook and Google for unfair competition

Mobile phone with Facebook and Twitter applications among others.

The US says it is reviewing how technology companies have gained power in the market and if they have engaged in practices that harm competition

The US Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has opened an investigation into the business practices of tech giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Google to clarify whether they are smothering the competition illegally.

The power of tech companies

In a statement, the US Department of Justice says it is “reviewing how technology companies have gained power in the market and whether they have engaged in practices that harm competition, impede innovation or harm consumers”.

If the Department of Justice identifies that these tech giants are breaking the law, then it warns that “it will proceed appropriately to seek redress”.

The investigation of the Government of Donald Trump aims to assess the conditions under which technology firms compete and determine if some companies have gained so much power that they have become monopolies or oligopolies, preventing free market competition.

What does the department of justice want?

The Department of Justice wants to “ensure that Americans have access to free markets in which companies compete to provide the services users want”, the statement said.

The Department does not mention in its press release the name of any technology company, but specified that the inquiries will be directed to companies that dominate Internet searches, social networks and other similar services, such as the development of operating systems.

Currently, Twitter and Facebook control the social media business; Amazon dominates electronic commerce; while Apple and Android (owned by Alphabet) have almost a duopoly in the development of mobile operating systems.

About Google

In addition, Google’s search engine (subsidiary of Alphabet) is the most visited website worldwide and its email service (Gmail), maps (Google Maps, Google Street View and Google Earth) have a dominant position in the market, as well as the YouTube video website, also owned by Alphabet.

In recent years, technology giants have faced criticism from different governments and organizations such as the European Union (EU) due to the large amount of power they accumulate and the exorbitant benefits they obtain, sometimes greater than the GDP of some nations little.

On several occasions, Trump has asked for greater vigilance over companies such as Facebook, which he accuses of suppressing conservative voices on the Internet without providing any evidence.

In February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) already announced the creation of a special force to investigate whether technology giants violate antitrust laws.

Also published on Medium.

Published inTechnology

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