25 July 2019
The US Department of Justice has announced what many consider to be a long-overdue investigation into the tech giants. What are the DoJ's concerns?
Firstly, it may be worried about being seen as falling behind European regulators and lawmakers, as well at the FTC, according to Ioannis Kokkoris, Professor of Law and Economics at Queen Mary University of London. The body's counterparts in Europe have pursued the firms, while the DoJ had "done nothing", he said. The academic expects the DoJ to look at whether the firms have too much data. But rather than focusing on privacy concerns, he expects the DoJ to look at whether the tech giants are using that customer information to stifle competition. He thinks the DoJ will also look for things like anti-competitive language in Amazon's contracts with its suppliers, and notes that the scope of the investigation could extend beyond an overall look at the market to become a probe into an individual firm.