The DOJ will police Apple in the federal government's new tech antitrust push

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  • In what’s been a tidal wave of potential tech antitrust action, Apple has been added to the list of major tech companies that may soon be investigated by the federal government, according to Reuters.
  • Reuters said on Monday that the Department of Justice would have oversight on Apple should it be investigated for antitrust violations.
  • The news came as Apple executives stood on stage during the company’s annual developers conference in San Jose, California.
  • Apple’s stock price dropped as much as 2.4% when news of the potential probe was first announced but has since recovered a bit.
  • The Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who’s calling for the breakup of major tech companies, has said Apple has the same problem as Amazon, Facebook, and Google – it runs its App Store and sells its own apps.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US Department of Justice will oversee Apple in the federal government’s new push to ramp up antitrust enforcement over the largest tech corporations, according to Reuters.

Reuters said on Monday that the DOJ would have jurisdiction over Apple should the iPhone maker be investigated for antitrust violations.

The move appears to be part of a coordinated effort within the federal government to divvy up oversight of the largest tech firms as criticism grows over the unprecedented power that the Big Tech companies have amassed in recent years.

The DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission – the two federal agencies responsible for antitrust investigations – have now sorted out the jurisdictions of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google, according to recent press reports, signalling a renewed effort to rein in the operations of the companies.

The news came as Apple executives stood on stage during the company’s annual developers conference in San Jose, California. Apple’s stock price dropped as much as 2.4% when news of the potential probe was first announced but has since recovered a bit.

Representatives for Apple and the DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported the DOJ is potentially preparing an antitrust probe against Google. On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that the FTC would get oversight of Amazon. And earlier on Monday, The Journal reported that the FTC would have jurisdiction over Facebook.


Read more:
The FTC will reportedly have oversight over a potential Facebook probe, and it could signal a tidal wave of tech antitrust action

Although no formal antitrust investigations have been announced, the divvying of turf among the DOJ and FTC appears to be the government’s first step into putting the tech industry’s largest companies under the microscope in the search for monopolistic practices. Curbing these tech giants’ power has been on the rise in recent political rhetoric – especially in the case of the Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

In March, Warren published a Medium post outlining her plan to “unwind” big tech companies, including Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

In a subsequent interview with The Verge, Warren added Apple to the list of companies she would like to see broken up. Warren said Apple has the same problem as Amazon, Facebook, and Google – it runs its App Store and sells its own apps.

“Either they run the platform or they play in the store,” she said. “They don’t get to do both at the same time.”

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