Feb 24, 2021 - Technology

Scoop: DOJ, FTC briefing Hill on Google, Facebook suits

A photo of a smartphone displaying the Google logo, held in front of a laptop displaying the Facebook logo

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission will brief the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee today on the antitrust cases against Google and Facebook, according to a memo seen by Axios.

What's happening: Staff for members of the antitrust subcommittee will be briefed by phone by the DOJ and FTC on the suits Wednesday afternoon.

  • On Thursday, the subcommittee is holding an hearing on competition and the "gatekeeper power" of dominant tech firms.

Why it matters: The agencies are keeping lawmakers who work on tech antitrust issues in the loop as their cases move slowly along, signaling that the change in administration didn't prevent forward progress.

Background: The Federal Trade Commission sued Facebook in December, accusing it of illegally stifling competition by buying up its rivals. The Justice Department sued Google over an alleged search monopoly last October.

  • Those cases are ongoing, as are a number of suits against the two companies filed by state attorneys general. Google and Facebook have denied all claims of illegal behavior.
  • The House Judiciary Committee has been examining tech antitrust since last year, with Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook CEOs testifying on the Hill last July.

What's next: The committee is holding a series of hearings on competition after issuing a sweeping report with recommendations for legislation last year.

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