Some of the biggest names in the technology industry are being closely studied for potential violations of antitrust law. The Trump administration is reportedly examining the activities of Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), and Google parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) in particular.
These three companies have long been a target of the Trump Administration. President Trump has criticized the embattled companies for its business practices numerous times during his candidacy and presidency. His accusations and other concerns prompted the Federal Trade Commission to hold hearings on the matter this past fall.
Experts are divided on whether the tech industry has an antitrust problem. Some are saying that there may not be enough evidence to prove that the tech companies are harming competition or innovation. Others are saying that the harm is clear and has been visible for many years.
This is not the first time the companies have been targeted by the federal government. The Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into Google during the Obama administration over how the company displayed its search results. The agency eventually came to the conclusion that there was no antitrust violation.
Europe has been much tougher on the tech giants than the United States has been. European antitrust officials recently levied a $5 billion fine against Google for anticompetitive marketing of its own apps. Facebook has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to protect user data. Apple is currently being targeted for alleged tax evasion.