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Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

High-ranking antitrust enforcers, speaking at an influential D.C. legal forum, zeroed in on big tech companies' potential for anticompetitive behavior but also signaled they may take a broader approach to policing the industry.

The big picture: The Trump administration, Congress and state attorneys general are all investigating tech companies, including Google and Facebook, for antitrust violations. But they're also acknowledging that the laws governing competition may not be enough to rein in powerful online platforms.

Driving the news: Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said Monday the Department of Justice's review of tech platforms could reach beyond antitrust issues and the department does not view antitrust law as a " panacea for every problem in the digital world."

  • "We will not ignore any harms caused by online platforms that partially or completely fall outside of the antitrust laws," Rosen said in a speech at the American Bar Association's antitrust forum in Washington. "We are keeping in mind other tools in areas such as privacy, consumer protection, and public safety as part of a broader review of online platforms."
  • Meanwhile, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons said the agency will take a "fresh look" at the consumer welfare standard and "alternatives" to the standard. Antitrust law considers consumer prices as a key metric in that standard, which makes evaluating "free" online services more challenging.

Details: Here's who is investigating what...

  • FTC: In addition to the agency's antitrust probe of Facebook, Simons said Monday the agency has multiple investigations into major platforms underway. The agency has reportedly interviewed Amazon's third-party sellers.
  • DOJ: The antitrust division is investigating both Google and Facebook, with antitrust chief Makan Delrahim telling Congress last week the competitive dynamics around personalized advertising is an area of focus.
  • State attorneys general: Multi-state coalitions are also investigating Google and Facebook.
  • Congress: The House Judiciary Committee launched a probe of competition in digital markets earlier this year.

And both federal antitrust agencies are staffing up to add more resources to their tech probes.

  • Simons said the FTC is hiring two technologists for its technology enforcement division, and said he would double the size of the team if Congress provided more funding.
  • Delrahim said the antitrust division just posted five openings for attorneys to work on its tech investigations.

Go deeper

55 mins ago - Health

India crosses 1 billion COVID vaccinations milestone

A health worker inoculates a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a man wearing face mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beawar, India, in September. Photo: Sumit Saraswat/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Thursday that the country's health workers have now administered more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses.

Of note: While this is a significant milestone for the country of 1.4 billion, which has been devastated by the coronavirus, only about 30% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated against the virus, per AP. Roughly 75% has received at least one dose.

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.

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