The Latest: Congressional panel readies tech antitrust probe



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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on antitrust concerns in the technology industry (all times local):

3 p.m.

The House Judiciary Committee is launching a bipartisan investigation into competition in the digital industry.

The committee's statement Monday, coming as news emerged of possible antitrust investigations of the Silicon Valley giants, didn't name any companies. But it was clearly aimed at Big Tech. It referred to a small number of dominant and unregulated platforms with extraordinary power over online commerce, communication and information.

The probe will examine if tech companies are using anticompetitive practices, among other concerns. The investigation comes just days after reports that the department of Justice is preparing to investigate Google over antitrust concerns.

The panel promises a sweeping review of market power held by technology giants, which would be the first time Congress has done such a thing.

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10:30 a.m.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission will lead any antitrust investigation into Facebook as part of an arrangement that would give the Justice Department oversight of Google.

The FTC and the Justice Department both oversee antitrust issues in the U.S. and must establish who will take the lead in different investigations. Citing unnamed sources The Journal said Monday that the FTC secured the rights to begin a potential investigation into whether Facebook engaged in what it called "unlawful monopolistic behavior."

The report Monday said the Justice Department, in turn, will lead the Google probe.

The FTC is already investigating Facebook for possible privacy violations . The FTC declined to comment Monday and Facebook did not immediately respond to a message for comment.

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The Associated Press

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