Big Tech has been put on notice.
The Department of Justice just opened a broad antitrust review of big tech companies, sending shares of Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook lower in aftermarket trading. The review will examine the practices of online platforms that currently dominate Internet search, social media, and retail services, according to The Wall Street Journal.
At the moment, Amazon is down $23 a share in aftermarket.
Facebook was down $3.30 with Alphabet pulling back nearly $12 a share.
This is the strongest move on the part of Attorney General William Barr with regards to Big Tech, many of which have faced increased scrutiny because of the tremendous amount of consumer data they control. As a result, the DOJ is looking into “stifled innovation” and the impact on consumers, says CNBC.
Even President Trump has criticized big tech companies for “terrible bias” against conservatives on social media.
According to the U.S. DOJ, “Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” said Makan Delrahim, assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, in the statement. “The Department’s antitrust review will explore these important issues.”