Congress requests emails from tech giants

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Congress requests emails from tech giants
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Congress requests emails from tech giants
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Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google recently received a letter from the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee requesting a variety of documents and information. The letters were publicly released earlier this week. The companies have until October 14 to respond.

Lawmakers are requesting financial reports, company organization charts, and any documents relating to past antitrust probes launched by the FTC and Department of Justice. However, members of Congress are also requesting to view numerous emails from tech company executives.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, requested emails from the company’s executives pertaining to Google’s search algorithm, the accusation of competitors, and suspensions of specific apps from their “Play Store.” Many of Google’s platforms, including their advertising system, have been accused of attempting to monopolize the market.

Amazon received a similar request for emails. Congress wants to know how Amazon ranks products on their website, especially their own Amazon Basics brand. Lawmakers also seem interested in Amazon’s numerous accusations of competing companies.

The congressional subcommittee wants emails regarding multiple controversies surrounding Apple, including how the company approves apps for their devices. Congress is also interested in a partnership between Apple and Amazon, as well as the company’s restrictions against third-party repairs of their products.

The letter received by Facebook also expresses concern over the company’s acquisition of its competitors. The company purchased WhatsApp after identifying the popular app as a serious competitor to their own messaging service. The FTC is already investigating Facebook and Amazon.

In addition to the formal requests, subcommittee chairman Congressman David Cicilline sent a list of 427 followup questions to the tech giants. The letters sent by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee are simply requests, and the companies are not required to divulge the information. However, the subcommittee has the authority to subpoena the information if necessary.

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