After Google and Amazon, US antitrust spotlight turns on Apple and Facebook

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The American Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has secured the right to examine how Facebook’s practices affect its digital competition, Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, while a Reuters report said the US justice department is considering probing Apple.

The developments form part of a broader US review of whether technology giants are using their size to act in an anti-competitive manner.

Shares of Facebook were down nearly 7% in trading on the Nasdaq, and Apple 3%, after the news broke.

The developments underscore a growing American backlash faced by Silicon Valley companies and marks another step by the Trump administration to regulate the biggest tech and social media companies.

The trade commission’s jurisdiction results from an agreement that allows the American justice department to take the reins of a similar antitrust investigation against Google to determine whether it exploited its market dominance, WSJ’s report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Shares of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, fell as much as 7% on Monday, their biggest drop outside earnings since April 2011.

Antitrust regulators in the United States have divided oversight of Amazon and Google, putting the e-commerce giant under the watch of the Federal Trade Commission and the search giant under the justice department, Washington Post reported on Saturday.

Facebook and Apple both did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the FTC declined to comment.