Google and Amazon are feeling the antitrust heat in the US

US tech giants Google and Amazon are set to face antitrust investigations in the US according to multiple reports.

All the usual suspects among US media seem to have got the same leak that the US justice department is preparing an antitrust investigation into Google. Bloomberg, for example, thinks it could get pretty serious for Google since the political climate has turned fairly hostile to big tech. The investigation seems likely to be a broad one, as opposed to focusing on any single alleged abuse of its dominant market position.

Meanwhile the Washington Post reckons Amazon is also going to get increased antitrust scrutiny, although not necessarily the formal investigation Google is threatened with. This will be the responsibility of the Federal Trade Commission thanks to the two regulatory bodies apparently deciding to pick a tech giant each for a spot of antitrust aggro.

Tech giants such as these two, Facebook, etc, have increasingly become political footballs in the US, not just for their market dominance but for their perceived influence over the political process. The role of social media in elections has been under intense scrutiny, especially from those who were unhappy with the Trump and Brexit elections, and Google owns YouTube, which is where a lot of independent political commentary takes place.

President Trump is increasingly of the opinion that Silicon Valley companies are biased against conservative viewpoints, which affects their decisions on who to censor from their platforms. On top of that fairly solid precedent has been set in Europe when it comes to this sort of action and their commercial dominance means the US tech giants have few allies, even on their home turf.

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