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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Alphabet    GOOGL

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House antitrust probe report likely by 'first part' of 2020

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10/18/2019 | 03:50pm EST
FILE PHOTO: The logos of Amazon Apple Facebook and Google

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee 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 next year, the chair of its antitrust panel said on Friday.

The committee has received tens of thousands of documents from Facebook Inc, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc and is expecting more material in the coming weeks, Representative David Cicilline told reporters.

"Our hope is to conclude our evidence collection end of this year, beginning of next year with the idea that we will have a final report, instead of recommendations in the first part of next year," said Cicilline, a Democrat.

He made the comments at a hearing to discuss the effect of consumer data collection by big technology platforms on online competition. Rohit Chopra, Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, as well as experts from Harvard Kennedy School and the American Enterprise Institute participated in the hearing.

Vast troves of consumer data collected by big technology companies allow them to gain a competitive edge and pose a threat to competition by creating entry barriers, Chopra said.

Personal data is powering the dominance of tech companies that offer basic services for free, which are ultimately not free, he added.

Chopra also said small fines and financial penalties will not be enough to address concerns about the power of big tech firms, adding that regulators will need to take a closer look at that.

For example, earlier this year the FTC fined Facebook Inc $5 billion (3.9 billion pounds) over online privacy. Chopra voted against that decision.

There are several probes at the federal, state and congressional level aimed at determining if big technology companies use their considerable clout in the online market illegally to hurt rivals or otherwise break competition law.

Once lauded as engines of economic growth, these companies have increasingly been on the defensive over their outsized market influence. Politicians including President Donald Trump, consumers, other firms and regulators have criticized that power.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Alistair Bell)

By Nandita Bose

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET -0.10% 1297.0308 Delayed Quote.24.24%
AMAZON.COM 0.18% 1775.505 Delayed Quote.18.90%
APPLE INC. -0.09% 262.0938 Delayed Quote.64.92%
FACEBOOK 2.36% 194.1036 Delayed Quote.44.64%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2019 163 B
EBIT 2019 35 001 M
Net income 2019 32 360 M
Finance 2019 123 B
Yield 2019 -
P/E ratio 2019 27,9x
P/E ratio 2020 23,8x
EV / Sales2019 4,72x
EV / Sales2020 3,95x
Capitalization 891 B
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Number of Analysts 44
Average target price 1 441,95  $
Last Close Price 1 291,01  $
Spread / Highest target 31,7%
Spread / Average Target 11,7%
Spread / Lowest Target -3,18%
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Lawrence E. Page Chief Executive Officer & Director
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin President & Director
John LeRoy Hennessy Chairman
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Louis John Doerr Independent Director
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