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October 14, 2021

Investigation Of Competition In Digital Markets

In June 2019, the Committee on the Judiciary initiated a bipartisan investigation into the state of competition online, spearheaded by the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. As part of a top-to-bottom review of the market, the Subcommittee examined the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, and their business practices to determine how their poweraffects our economy and our democracy. Additionally, the Subcommittee performed a review of existing antitrust laws, competition policies, and current enforcement levels to assess whether they areadequate to address market power and anticompetitive conduct in digital markets. Over the course of our investigation, we collected extensive evidence from these companies aswell as from third parties-totaling nearly 1.3 million documents. We held seven hearings to review the effects of market power online-including on the free and diverse press, innovation, and privacy-and a final hearing to examine potential solutions to concerns identified during the investigation and to inform this Report’s recommendations. A year after initiating the investigation, we received testimony from the Chief ExecutiveOfficers of the investigated companies: Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai. For nearly six hours, we pressed for answers about their business practices, including about evidence concerning the extent to which they have exploited, entrenched, and expanded their power over digitalmarkets in anticompetitive and abusive ways. Their answers were often evasive and non-responsive, raising fresh questions about whether they believe they are beyond the reach of democratic oversight. Although these four corporations differ in important ways, studying their business practices hasrevealed common problems

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