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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will meet with state attorneys general this month "to discuss a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms," Axios' David McCabe reports.

Why it matters: The unexpected Justice Department statement raises the prospect of antitrust action against the companies.

The alarm about competition follows rising Republican allegations of online censorship, which President Trump has started hammering.

  • "This is an enormous assertion of investigatory powers, in a highly charged political environment," said Public Knowledge’s Gene Kimmelman, who served in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division under Obama.

A new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll finds significant public distrust of search engines, with two-thirds of Republicans believing results skew left:

Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey online poll conducted Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, 2018 among a total sample of 2,698. Margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points; Poll methodology; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

P.S. Wall Street Journal p. 1: "Antitrust enforcers are preparing to give the green light to two major deals in the health-care industry, CVS Health’s planned acquisition of health insurer Aetna and Cigna’s planned purchase of Express Scripts."

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Go deeper

Ro Khanna accuses Biden of quitting Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.