On Tuesday, shares of the four largest US technology companies declined, as the 16-month government investigation of their competitive practices led to the first results in the form of 449-page report on their abuse of the market power.
Shares of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and the parent company Google Alphabet fell to 2.9%, 3%, 2.26% and 2.2% respectively for the close of trading on Tuesday.
A commission in the US House of Representatives called the Internet giants monopolists, comparing them to monopolies “which we last saw in the era of the oil barons and railroad magnates.”
The commission called on Congress to adopt the number of the significant changes in antitrust law that would drastically change the position of the large companies in the market if adopted.
In the report, the commission insists on the need for the structural units in companies, but does not specify specific names.
Regarding the Amazon’s practices, officials point to its position as both a platform for the online retailers, the company itself is the largest online retailer and the uses data collection on its platform to benefit its own e-commerce business.
On the eve of the report Amazon has urged lawmakers against the negative market intervention that “will kill independent retailers and punish consumers by forcing small businesses to leave popular online stores, raising prices and limiting consumer choice.”
Google’s management disagreed with the government’s report, saying it was “honestly competing in the fast-growing and highly competitive industry.”
A similar statement was made by Facebook, pointing out that its acquisitions of Instagram and Whatsapp were “just one way to introduce new technologies to benefit people more.”
Apple said: “The test is reasonable and appropriate, but we strongly disagree with the findings.”
Apple also denied allegations of the unfair commissions and said it would release a more detailed response in the coming days.
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