Tech on trial: House panel begins review of Silicon Valley’s market power
Big Tech is about to become big politics in Washington.
The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday will launch its investigation into the market dominance of Silicon Valley’s biggest names, starting with a look at the impact of the tech giants’ platforms on news content, the media and the spread of misinformation online.
In a Capitol steeped in partisanship, inflamed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and Democrats’ intensifying probes of President Donald Trump, the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation of tech market power stands out. Not only is it bipartisan, but it’s also the first such review by Congress of a sector that for more than a decade has enjoyed haloed status and a light touch from federal regulators.
With regulators at the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission apparently pursuing antitrust investigations of Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon, and several state attorneys general exploring bipartisan action of their own, the tech industry finds itself in a precarious moment — with the dreaded M-word increasingly used to describe their way of doing business.
“These are monopolies,” Rep. David Cicilline said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, will be leading Tuesday’s subcommittee hearing and vowed that the panel will broadly investigate the digital marketplace and “the dominance of large technology platforms,” with an eye toward legislative action to increase competition.
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