For years US’s state attorneys have been at crossheads with tobacco giants, manufacturers of addictive drugs, and mortgage lenders. Now is it seems they are setting their sights at Silicon Valley’s tech giants.
Attorneys to probe antitrust concerns on tech giants
It seems that it has dawned on the large tech giants after years of federal inaction. The state attorneys have indicated that they are commencing antitrust investigations against companies such as Google. They want to probe whether the companies have been undermining rivals and harming consumers. Forty attorney generals have confirmed that they plan to probe Google and its determination to maintain dominance.
The attorney generals seek to investigate claims that the tech giants stifle star-ups, offer pricier or worse service to consumers and the taking of a lot of personal information. All this is to enrich their exceptional revenue as the expense of consumer privacy.
Minnesota attorney general, Keith Ellison stated that the growth of the companies had outpaced the ability to regulate them. He added that there is a need to regulate these tech companies and that responsibility lies with the state attorney. Traditionally the federal government used to take a lead role in competition matters regarding mergers and potential monopolies. States are also potent actors in their rights on such matters with authority to raise laws on antitrust and consumer protection.
Tech giants on the list of state attorneys
State attorneys have succeeded before in bringing changes in other industries such as in mortgage lending, the tobacco industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Their latest onslaught is to unleash antitrust punishment against Google and other tech companies.
The Silicon Valley giants have for a year enjoyed relatively free regulation. They benefited from the hands-off approach during the Obama administration and the failure of Congress to take action. However, several scandals involving the misuse of personal data in recent times have to trust the industry into the spotlight. It has prompted legislators and policymakers to question the regulation of the companies.
In recent months, antitrust has attracted unusual political attention. The state attorney shave voiced concerns regarding antitrust and privacy scrutiny of companies such as Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Google.