Much of the antitrust scrutiny on big tech companies has focused on whether their biggest acquisitions violated competition laws. Now the Federal Trade Commission, in a sweeping review of five iconic players in the industry, is looking at whether their smaller deals might have hurt competition, too.
On Tuesday, the FTC said it has ordered the five companies—including Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google—to provide details and documents about the acquisitions they completed between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2019. The agency is looking strictly at deals that the companies didn’t previously report to antitrust regulators under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, a federal law that requires companies to file details about proposed mergers that meet certain requirements.
Here are five takeaways from the FTC’s announcement: