'Officials to look into whether Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are unlawfully limiting competition'
'The US justice department is opening a broad antitrust review into major technology firms, as criticism over the companies’ growing reach and power heats up.
The investigation will focus on growing complaints that the companies are unlawfully stifling competition.
“The Department’s review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
“Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” added the assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim, of the antitrust division.
The review will investigate practices of online platforms including Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon and Apple.
The investigation comes amid calls from lawmakers, including Democratic presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren, that the companies should face more scrutiny.
Last week, Facebook, Google, and Amazon faced a grilling before the House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial and administrative law over their hold on markets including digital advertising, e-commerce and cloud computing.
Lawmakers questioned Amazon over the fees it levies against third-party sellers on the platform and whether this creates a monopoly of power. They also questioned Facebook executives over practices of targeting startups for acquisition and copying features of companies that decline to be acquired.'
Read more: US justice department targets big tech firms in antitrust review