December 5, 2019 / 6:56 PM / 8 months ago

Factbox: Big Tech faces growing number of U.S. probes

(Reuters) - Big tech companies such as Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc face a slew of U.S. antitrust probes by the federal government, state attorneys general and Congress.

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are seen in a combination photo from Reuters files. REUTERS

Here are the investigations under way.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

September 2019 - Google discloses it has received a civil investigative demand from the Justice Department.

July 2019 - The Justice Department has already opened a broad investigation of whether major digital technology firms engage in anticompetitive practices, the strongest sign the Trump administration is stepping up its scrutiny of Big Tech.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

December 2019 - FTC broadens scrutiny of Amazon beyond its retail operations to include cloud-computing business, Bloomberg reports.

November 2019 - FTC is conducting multiple investigations of tech platforms, in addition to its known probe of Facebook, but does not identify them.

August 2019 - FTC launches an investigation into Facebook’s acquisitions, accusing it of buying potential rivals.

July 2019 - FTC slaps a record $5 billion fine on Facebook for mishandling privacy of its users with now defunct British political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

U.S. STATES

September 2019 - Texas announces an antitrust investigation of Google’s search and advertising businesses. The probe includes 47 other states and three territories. The probe later expanded to include Google’s flagship Android business, CNBC reported.

September 2019 - New York and seven other states and the District of Columbia announce an antitrust probe into Facebook. The probe expanded a month later to include attorneys general from 47 states and territories in total.

OTHER PROBES

September 2019 - The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee sends requests for information to Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and later says it expects to have a final report on its probe of big technology companies and their potential breaches of antitrust law by the “first part” of 2020.

July 2019 - Facebook agrees to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission $100 million for misleading investors about the misuse of its users’ data.

Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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