Regulation

Mnuchin Says DOJ Should Look Into Amazon Antitrust Issues

U.S. Department of Justice building

The Justice Department is right to be looking into Amazon’s practices as part of its antitrust review of big technology companies, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday (July 24). 

“I think if you look at Amazon, although there are certain benefits to it, they’ve destroyed the retail industry across the United States so there’s no question they’ve limited competition,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “There’s areas where [Amazon] really hurt small businesses.” 

Mnuchin said he looks forward to reviewing the recommendations of Attorney General William Barr.

A broad antitrust review of big technology companies was announced by the Justice Department on Tuesday (July 23). The probe will look into whether these big-name companies are using their power and influence to stifle competition.

The initial phase of the investigation will discover if there are any antitrust issues that need to be addressed. The investigation is not confined to any one area, and the beginning phases of it could lead to more focused investigations, based on findings. 

Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO Worldwide Consumer, has said the eCommerce giant welcomes a review of its business, as some are calling for the breakup of the company.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said earlier in 2019 that large tech firms like Facebook and Amazon should be broken up. “[They] have too much power — too much power over our economy, our society and our democracy,” she said. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And, in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”

Earlier this year, tech giant Google was on the receiving end of a 1.5 billion euro fine from regulators across the pond, where the search giant has been accused of antitrust behavior. Specifically, European Union regulators took Google to task for limiting the way some websites used display ads sold by competitors.

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