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Silicon Valley giants share antitrust data with US lawmakers

Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have started handing over data to US lawmakers who are investigating whether the firms have breached competition laws.

The House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee launched what it called a “top to bottom” antitrust probe against the Silicon Valley giants in July. Spokespeople revealed on Tuesday night (15 October) that the committee had received initial submissions from the companies.

“While we do not yet have all of the information we requested, we expect that all four companies will provide the information in short order,” senior committee members said in a statement reported by Reuters. “We look forward to their continued compliance with the committee’s investigation.”

When the probe was launched over summer, Democratic Representative David Cicilline told CNN that it would be a wide-ranging assessment of the “tremendous concentration of market power” within Silicon Valley, rather than a review of individual companies.

US lawmakers and regulators’ relationship with Silicon Valley has deteriorated over the last eighteen months, as concerns about competition and data abuse have grown in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

While the European Union has historically been more aggressive in its approach to companies such as Apple and Google, a number of tech competition probes have been launched in the US in 2019.

The Justice Department has opened investigations into Facebook and Google, as well as a broader review of Big Tech. A number of US states have also banded together to probe the companies.

As NS Tech reported in September, around 30 states have joined forces to investigate Google’s impact on privacy and competition, while so far eight states have joined a Facebook probe.

Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple have been contacted for comment and we will update this piece if they respond.

The Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee said it would hold further hearings, discussion and roundtables in the months to come.