Large tech companies, especially those who are involved in the social media industry, are coming under scrutiny by the United States Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions has stated that he wants to meet with the attorneys general of all 50 states to determine if large tech companies are becoming anti-competitive and stifling free speech.
Political analysts believe that this meeting is being conducted because of President Trump’s belief that social medial platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are biased towards conservative viewpoints. Some conservatives have stated that Twitter is shadow banning those who express conservative political ideas.
President Trump has also been highly critical of Google over the past few weeks. He believes that Google displays bias against him and his administration by selecting Google News articles that portray only negative information against him and his policies.
Previously, President Trump has attacked Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos. The president believes that the United States Postal Service has provided improper pricing to Amazon that is detrimental to the financial health of the Post Office.
Twitter has responded to criticism by firmly denying that it displays bias. Google has state unequivocally that political ideology does not play any part in the news stories featured on Google News.
With Attorney General Sessions meeting with his state level colleagues, he may be trying to lay the groundwork for antitrust actions against the largest tech companies. The announcement of this action sent a ripple of unrest through many of the publicly traded larger tech companies. The shares of most of these tech companies were down after Mr. Sessions’ announcement.
The meeting with the state attorneys general is scheduled to take place sometime toward the end of September. Any antitrust action against tech companies would more than likely not take place until sometime after the 2018 mid-term elections in November.