Silicon Valley also overturned

Silicon Valley technology giants are likely to face a fierce siege from their own government.

On June 3, Reuters reported that some people said that the US government is preparing to conduct an unprecedented investigation into whether technology giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have abused their huge market. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which enforces the anti-monopoly law, and the US Department of Justice have allegedly supervised the four companies.

Affected by the news, the US technology giant’s share price setback fell on Monday, the Nasdaq closed down 1.6%, and once fell 2%. The market value of FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amzon, Netflix and Google parent company Alphabet) once evaporated by $170 billion.

On this black Monday, a stockholder told the “Financial World” magazine that until now, he still didn’t even dare to open his own US stock account. “The US stocks are white knives, red knives, I have lost numbness.”

In the past two years, the warning of the tech stock market crash has been called “the wolf is coming”. Although it has been lucky to escape every time, the stock price of Nasdaq has also oscillated in an unprecedented range in the past year.

The game has just begun
Such a large-scale antitrust investigation can be said to be unprecedented in the United States.

According to Reuters, the US antitrust law is jointly administered by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Ministry of Justice. According to two people familiar with the matter, Amazon and Facebook are currently regulated by the US Federal Trade Commission, and Apple and Google are regulated by the US Department of Justice. According to the technology media The Verge, the US House Judiciary Committee is also investigating large technology companies such as Facebook and Google to determine whether these technology giants abuse market dominance and violate antitrust laws.

According to CNN business’s June 3 report, Rhode Island Democratic Congressman David Cicilline is the head of the Antitrust Subcommittee and is leading the investigation. He said that compared with specific companies, the survey is more about large Silicon Valley companies with “great market power.”

A large-scale investigation is about to begin. Cicilline said the committee officials have notified Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. Cicilline said he would like to hear from senior technical executives and would not hesitate to issue subpoenas to companies that failed to cooperate. Amazon and Google declined to comment. Apple and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

The investigation is also a challenge for the antitrust sector. Cicilline said that these institutions are acting too slowly. “I don’t have much confidence in the completion of these institutions,” Cicilline said. Although Congress lacks the power to break down large technology companies or impose fines, it has the ability to force executives to testify, collect documents and openly discuss them.

Ciciline said the findings will be presented in the form of a report, suggesting appropriate policy recommendations, and possibly enacting new legislation in the coming months. According to Ciciline, this is the first major antitrust investigation initiated by Congress in decades.

The monopoly of Internet giants is no longer a secret. The key lies in the attitude of the government.

In fact, as early as 2011, the FTC had initiated an investigation into whether Google search was suspected of monopolizing. But in 2013, the FTC ruled that Google did not violate antitrust regulations on the grounds that Google’s algorithm only affected other sites and caused other sites to decline in search results, but not enough to prove anti-competitive behavior.

The previous agitation of the scientific and technological community was the “love and hatred” between the giants and the EU. The EU also likes to mention the name of “technical police.”

In 2014, Vestager was elected as the European Competition Commissioner. She has a 900-member survey team responsible for managing business activities throughout the European Union. Vestager has been skeptical about large technology companies with extensive control and data access, fearing they will have an unfair competitive advantage. She is trying to build a more free and fairer global market.

For big technology companies, Vestager is tough.

Since 2017, the EU has issued three high-priced penalties to Google, totaling 8.2 billion euros, or about 9.2 billion US dollars, on the grounds that Google uses its monopoly position to conduct unfair competition.

On May 25, 2018, the most stringent EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) were officially in force. At the beginning of the new year in 2019, the French privacy regulator issued a 50 million euro ticket to Google based on GDPR, on the grounds that Google lacked transparency, insufficient information, and did not obtain valid user licenses when advertising ads to users. This is also the first time the EU has imposed a fine on a US technology giant since the introduction of GDPR.

The monopoly of Internet giants is no longer a secret. The key lies in the attitude of the government.

In addition, Google is also subject to antitrust investigations in Italy, India, Japan, Australia and other countries.

Apple is no exception. In August 2016, the European Commission ruled that Apple benefited from illegal tax incentives between 2003 and 2014. Finally, Apple believes. In September 2018, Apple paid $15.3 billion in original fines and $1.4 billion in interest.

Facebook has been controversial because of its tremendous power in big data information. In May 2017, Facebook was fined €110 million (approximately $122 million) by the European Union for misleading information in the 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp.

The New York Times said that Vestager is a “person who fears Silicon Valley.” Vestager has said that her work may affect other regulators around the world.

Compared with five years ago, the US government’s attitude toward technology companies is clearly changing quietly.

In 2019, the US IPO is expected to raise $80 billion in record capital, with technology companies at the forefront, including Uber and Lyft, which are now available.

The Facebook scandal has given a new alarm to the US regulatory level. In the fall of 2018, the Federal Trade Commission FTC held a series of hearings on the theme of “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century” for a total of 14 sessions for a period of one year. The final one is a round table with the State Attorney General, which will be held on June 12, 2019.