Just last Friday, the Department of Justice announced it was preparing an investigation of Google's business practices to see if the internet giant violated United States antitrust laws, Sputnik reported.
"As the world becomes more dependent on a digital marketplace, we must discuss how the regulatory framework is built to ensure fairness and competition." stated Jim Sensenbrenner, antitrust subcommittee ranking member.
Google and Facebook - dominant players in the online advertising space - have sophisticated tools in their systems that may create unfair competition which may disadvantage smaller players when competing for advertising dollars.
Specifically, staffers wanted to know more about Google requiring third-party phone makers to bundle its apps with the company's Android operating system - to the exclusion of rival apps, the sources said.More news: Joe Biden’s Lead Shrinks As First Democratic Debate Nears
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Critics are increasingly arguing that US officials should also crack down.
This is the first time Congress has undertaken an investigation into this behaviour and builds on pressure from both sides of politics to examine the market power wielded by the tech giants.
Google dominates the search business and also owns YouTube and Android. The company declined to comment on Monday.
The Justice Department has reportedly begun an investigation of Google; it's not known if the agencies have begun investigating the other firms.
Legal experts have said USA regulators are unlikely to attempt to break up the technology giants.
It is rare to break up a company but not unheard of, with Standard Oil and AT&T being the two biggest examples. European Union regulatory actions have already led to multibillion dollar fines and reforms to Google's business practices. The DOJ's investigation follows a 2013 report by the FTC that concluded Google's seeming manipulation of the market was incidental.
Google has declined to comment on the potential investigation, but has repeatedly said that it acts in the best interest of its users and offers sufficient warning to industry partners potentially affected by its moves.