Just as the Federal Trade Commission is wrapping up its privacy probe of Facebook, the Justice Department announced today that it is launching a broad antitrust review of dominant technology firms.
The DOJ’s antitrust investigation signals that U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who has strong ties to the telecom and tech sector, wants to put his own stamp on the current effort in Washington to tame the market power of big technology companies.
Before signing on as the nation’s top law enforcement officer earlier this year, Mr. Barr spent decades working for telecommunications and media companies including Verizon and Time Warner, both companies often opposed Silicon Valley firms over critical policy issues such as net neutrality.
The FTC is expected to announce as early as tomorrow the details of its consent decree with Facebook concerning privacy violations. It has been reported that Facebook has agreed to pay a $5 billion fine to resolve the FTC’s investigation.