Top U.S. Justice Department official says there’s a serious problem with competition in the tech industry

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, speaking at the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Forum in Washington, d.M., said there were “serious and substantial problems” with competition for large online platforms. But he said the Justice Department “has not reached any final conclusions”. “Even dynamic industries with the characteristics of rapid technological progress can be monopolized and harm consumers,” Rosen said. ”

Top U.S. Justice Department official says there's a serious problem with competition in the tech industry

The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Alphabet’s Google and Facebook violated competition law as part of a broader investigation into the digital market. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who has antitrust experience, authorized the investigation and is keeping a close eye on the investigation.

Joe Simons, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, later said the agency was also conducting “multiple” investigations into technology companies. Facebook has previously revealed that it is also under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

Rosen likened the tech giant to the film industry, which was subject to several antitrust lawsuits in the 20th century. He also referred to a U.S. lawsuit against Microsoft that began in the late 1990s and ended in a settlement.

He cited an appeals court ruling that the software giant’s “operating system is monopoly” because it is so widely used that consumers and developers are reluctant to turn to competitors.

Some antitrust experts have said that Google, Facebook and other contemporary tech giants dominate because they benefit from the so-called web effect, in which the more platforms are used, the more valuable they are.

Rosen also said that antitrust laws are not “a panacea for every problem in the digital world” and that the department will not ignore other issues, including consumer protection and public safety.

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