An agreement reached by US regulators places Amazon under the close supervision of the Federal Trade Commission
Tencent Technology News, June 3, according to foreign media reports, three people familiar with the matter said that according to a new agreement reached by US regulators, Amazon may face more stringent anti-monopoly review. The agreement places Amazon under the close supervision of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The people said that the move was the result of the US government's main anti-monopoly law enforcement agency, the FTC, and the Justice Department quietly distributing the competition for the competition of two top US technology companies. These people are required to remain anonymous because the work of government agencies is kept secret. But there are media reports that the Justice Department will have more jurisdiction over Google, paving the way for a potential investigation into the search and advertising giant.
The FTC’s monitoring of Amazon’s surveillance program and the Department’s review of Google’s review are still unclear. But such an agreement between the Ministry of Justice and the FTC usually heralds a more rigorous antitrust review. Many Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress are seeking to take such initiatives because they are worried that technology companies have become too large and powerful.
The US Department of Justice declined to comment on the grounds that the agency strictly prohibited comments on the investigation. Both FTC and Amazon declined to comment. But Baker · Baker Botts partner, former FTC chairman Maureen · Maureen Ohlhausen said: “If there is active discussion on the boundaries of the investigation, this will indicate that this discussion has Ample reasons, whether it is about interest, research or investigation. ”
The early moves of the US government's two antitrust agencies marked the latest attempts by US regulators to better monitor the technology giants. Earlier this year, the FTC set up a special working group that stated that it would oversee technology and competition, including “investigating any potential anti-competitive behavior in these markets and taking enforcement actions when necessary”.
Over the years, the European Union (EU) has been the first to investigate whether the Silicon Valley giant is too easy to suppress competitors, thereby damaging the interests of network users. EU officials are actively investigating Amazon and have repeatedly imposed fines on Google for violating antitrust laws.
Among the Democratic presidential candidates who participated in the 2020 election, anti-monopoly has become a topic of intense concern. Senator Elizabeth · Elizabeth Warren recently threatened to conduct major investigations on Amazon, Apple and Facebook. This week, she provided early support for news that the Justice Department may conduct such investigations on Google.
For a long time, politicians have been worried that Amazon's dominance in online retailing and its growing influence in various business sectors have given it too much power. Amazon controls third-party sellers on its site, third-party sellers need to pay for advertising, and need to compete with Amazon's first-party and private-label sales. Amazon's low price also helps it attract customers' consumption, thereby sacrificing the interests of physical competitors.
The e-commerce giant accounts for about half of all online goods in the US, but it accounts for a much smaller share of total retail sales. Amazon has also expanded into other areas, such as AWS to enter the cloud computing field, through the acquisition of Whole Foods into the field of grocery sales. FTC allowed the transaction to continue in 2017.
Google’s main critics believe the company has taken illegal actions to protect its dominance in search and advertising and supports its new ambitions in smart thermostats, autonomous vehicles and more. FTC had previously investigated Google, but in 2013 it closed the lawsuit, but did not split Google, nor forced Google to make major changes to its business practices.
Gene Kimmelman, president of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based consumer rights advocacy group, said: “This should sound a wake-up call for Google and Amazon, because it at least shows that the Justice Department and the FTC are targeting Let them be. ”(Tencent Technology Review / Jinlu)