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Photo: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

The Justice Department is preparing an antitrust investigation into tech giant Google, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: A DOJ investigation would represent an increase in regulatory scrutiny on Google in the United States at a time when the president has attacked the company by name.

Details: According to WSJ sources, the DOJ plans to analyze Google's business practices and how it designs and runs its services, though the precise focus of the investigation remains unknown.

A spokesperson for Google declined to comment, as did the Justice Department.

The backdrop: The Federal Trade Commission previously directed a separate Google antitrust investigation, looking at the company's search and advertising practices and the negative impact on competitors. However, the probe was dropped in 2013. The company chose to make a handful of changes as a result.

Go deeper: Tech's regulation debate moves from "whether" to "how"

Go deeper

47 mins ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.