Factbox – US government, state lawsuits piling up against Big Tech market dominance

(Reuters) – Texas, backed by nine other states, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Alphabet Inc’s Google, accusing the internet search company of violating antitrust laws in the way it conducts its online advertising business.

FILE PHOTO: The logos of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google in a combination photo. REUTERS / File Photo

The lawsuit comes more than a year after it was revealed that the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and large groups of attorneys general were running major antitrust investigations into Big Tech platforms: Google, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, and Facebook Inc.

The following are major lawsuits and investigations by the United States government involving Big Tech.

Justice Department lawsuit against Google:

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Google in October, accusing the $ 1 trillion company of illegally using its market muscle to limp rivals.

More public attorneys general are expected to sue Google:

A bipartisan group of more than 30 attorneys general is expected to file an antitrust suit against Google on Thursday. These states, including Colorado, have said they hope to consolidate their cause with that of the government.

Federal Trade Commission and states sue Facebook:

The FTC and a grand coalition of states are calling for Facebook to be forced to sell WhatsApp and Instagram, saying the social media company used a “buy or bury” strategy to track down rivals and keep smaller competitors at bay.

Justice is investigating Apple:

Unveiled in June 2019, this probe appears to be focusing on Apple’s app store. Some app developers have accused Apple of introducing new products that are very similar to existing apps created by other developers and sold in the Apple Store, then trying to ban the older apps from competing with the new product from Apple. Apple says it only wants the highest quality apps in the app store.

Justice investigates Facebook and Amazon:

In July 2019, the Justice Department said it is expanding its Big Tech probes to include “search, social media and some online retail services” – a clear reference to Facebook and Amazon.

Federal Trade Commission on Amazon:

In its investigation into Amazon, the FTC is likely looking at Amazon’s inherent conflict of interest competing with small sellers on its marketplace platform, including allegations that it used information from sellers on its platform to decide which products it would introduce.

Reporting by Diane Bartz and Nandita Bose in Washington, and Paresh Dave in Oakland, California; Editing by Chris Sanders and Matthew Lewis