The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced it has opened a wide-ranging antitrust investigation of big tech social media companies to determine whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.
The affected companies will presumably include Facebook (and its subsidiary Instagram), Google, Twitter, and Amazon, though the DOJ did not say specifically which companies it would be investigating.
“The DOJ did say it would look into ‘widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media and some retail services online,'” Fox News reported.
The investigation comes after years of alleged bias against conservatives by Big Tech. Just weeks ago, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas released a bombshell report wherein a Google executive admitted that the company was working to prevent another “Trump situation” in 2020. The company was visibly upset the day after the 2016 election in a leaked video that shows executives and staff members at Google sobbing as they discuss the results of the race.
Furthermore, tech giants have taken the unprecedented step of completely banning conservative influencers like Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, Alex Jones, Tommy Robinson, and Paul Joseph Watson. The bans have come under the guise of “terms of service violations,” but it always seems that the only people accused of “violating” the vague terms are high-profile conservatives.
In November, Loomer was banned from Twitter, where she had more than 260,000 followers. She is suing Twitter and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) over the ban. She also joined a class action anti-trust lawsuit against the tech giants in November that is currently in the process of being appealed.
In May, Loomer was banned from Facebook and Instagram within the same hour of Jones, Watson, and Yiannopoulos. She has subsequently filed a $3 BILLION lawsuit against Mark Zuckerburg’s tech empire for defamation after Facebook accused her of being a “dangerous individual”.
“The DOJ’s move comes as a growing number of lawmakers have called for stricter regulation or even breaking up of the big tech companies, which have come under intense scrutiny following a series of scandals that compromised users’ privacy,” Fox said.
The DOJ investigation has been long awaited by critics of big tech who have accused these companies of being monopolistic. Antitrust laws prohibit corporations from abusing monopoly power to harm consumers, and prohibits companies from conspiring to fix prices or suppress competition through other anti-competitive activity, both of which are actions the big tech social media companies have been accused of.
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