UPDATED 1:12 PM PT — Tuesday, June 4, 2019
The House Judiciary Committee is launching a bipartisan investigation to see whether big tech companies are harming consumers and suppressing competition.
Lawmakers announced the probe Monday to address the question of whether Congress should pass tougher anti-trust laws. The panel issued a statement, saying a small number of platforms have extraordinary power over commerce and the ability to harm the competitive process.
The investigation will focus on three areas which include documenting the lack of competition in digital markets, exploring whether tech companies are suppressing competition, and determining whether Congress needs to ramp-up efforts to address big tech dominance.
This is the first time Congress has taken up this type of investigation, which will include a series of hearings. Big tech companies have been under scrutiny over election interference and mass data breaches.
The move comes as the federal government is boosting its own anti-trust oversight into Silicon Valley. The Federal Trade Commission may open its own probe into Facebook and Amazon, and the Department of Justice could pursue Google and Apple.