House Judiciary Committee to investigate tech giant’s competition, market power

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Social Media companies testify on the Hill.

The House Judiciary Committee said it will launch a bipartisan investigation of the tech industry particularly the competition in digital markets.

The Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law will “conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power” held by tech giants.

It is the first Congress will hold an investigation into potential anti-competitive practices and other concerns related to the dominant unregulated digital of platforms of tech giants including Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Congress needs to determine if current antitrust laws are enough to prevent abusive conducts

In a statement, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said, “The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online. But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications.”

He added, “The Committee has a rich tradition of conducting studies and investigations to assess the threat of monopoly power in the U.S. economy. Given the growing tide of concentration and consolidation across our economy, it is vital that we investigate the current state of competition in digital markets and the health of the antitrust laws.”

On the other hand, Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) commented that the most pressing economic and political challenges confronting the U.S. today is the growing monopoly power across the economy. He noted that the antitrust enforcement has been weak for decades.

“It is vital for Congress to step in and determine whether the existing antitrust laws are adequate to tackle abusive conduct by platform gatekeepers of if we need new legislation,” said Cicilline.

Antitrust Subcommittee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) stated that it is important to discuss how the regulatory framework is built to ensure fairness and competition in the digital marketplace.

The Committee’s investigation comes just days after reports indicating that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to conduct an antitrust investigation into Google.