DoJ Antitrust Probes Into Apple, Google Reportedly Delayed Due to Lack of Cash
17:59 GMT 25.12.2021 (Updated: 18:11 GMT 25.12.2021)
© AP Photo / Kathy WillensThis Saturday, March 14, 2020 file photo shows an Apple logo on the facade of the downtown Brooklyn Apple store in New York. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020
© AP Photo / Kathy Willens
The Department of Justice reportedly planned to complete comprehensive probes into the two tech giants by 31 December, determining whether they were in violation of US anti-monopoly legislation.
The Justice Department won’t be proceeding with any steps to take Apple and Google to court until at least March of 2022, and possibly later, two sources said to be familiar with the situation have told Politico.
The DoJ has been probing the tech giants over anti-trust concerns. In the case of Apple, the government began an investigation into the company’s control over iPhone-related software back in 2019, with media reporting in October that a lawsuit may be imminent.
In Google’s case, the DoJ filed a suit against the company in October 2020 over its alleged violation of anti-trust laws on search and search advertising markets through excessive control over the tech used to buy and display ads. However, the DoJ may be preparing to file a new lawsuit against the company, according to Politico’s sources.
The delay in action being taken reportedly revolves around an internal debate about where to fill the lawsuits, who will make the announcement, plus concerns about a possible lack of funds for government lawyers.
President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, whose fate remains uncertain after the legislation was blocked by Senator Joe Manchin last week, included $1 billion in funding for antitrust agencies, with $500 million meant for enforcement.
There are other ways the DoJ could get the necessary money, according to the outlet, including a bill aimed at beefing up the US’s competitiveness with China, which includes plans for reforms of anti-trust laws ‘to protect competition in the American economy.’
US tech giants including Apple, Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook (now Meta) have regularly been accused of abusing their near-monopolistic positions to keep competitors out of the marketplace, of taking advantage of connections with the state to stamp out small businesses, and of enforcing government and corporate talking points on a range of issues, from the 6 January violence at the Capitol to Covid-related mandates.
Activists have called on the public to boycott these and other platforms and service providers and shift to smaller, independent resources, but the sheer size of these entities have made it difficult to put a dent in the big players’ monopolistic control.
22 December 2021, 16:26 GMT