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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday that it will launch a bipartisan, sweeping antitrust investigation into major tech companies.

"A small number of dominant, unregulated platforms have extraordinary power over commerce, communication, and information online. Based on investigative reporting and oversight by international policymakers and enforcers, there are concerns that these platforms have the incentive and ability to harm the competitive process. The Antitrust Subcommittee will conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms. This is the first time Congress has undertaken an investigation into this behavior."

Details: The committee's investigation is set to focus on three main areas:

  • Documenting problems with competition in digital markets.
  • Determining whether "dominant firms" are conducting themselves in an anti-competitive manner.
  • Determining if existing competition policies and antitrust laws and enforcement are up to taking on these "issues."

What they're saying:

  • House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.): "The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online. But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications. ... Given the growing tide of concentration and consolidation across our economy, it is vital that we investigate the current state of competition in digital markets and the health of the antitrust laws.
  • Ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.): "Big Tech plays a huge role in our economy and our world. As tech has expanded its market share, more and more questions have arisen about whether the market remains competitive. Our bipartisan look at competition in the digital markets gives us the chance to answer these questions and, if necessary, to take action."

The big picture: The House's new probe follows two developments that have shifted the threat level in Washington for Big Tech over the weekend, according to Axios' David McCabe.

  1. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have agreed to split up efforts to investigate charges of monopolistic practices by Google and Amazon. The DOJ got Google and the FTC got Amazon, per the Washington Post and Bloomberg.
  2. The DOJ is preparing to launch an investigation into some of Google's practices, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Members of the House Judiciary Committee have been worried about Big Tech's power for a while and, now that they're turning their attention to the issue, don't expect them to hold back. These moves set the table for the kind of long-running antitrust cases that can sap company resources, result in embarrassing legal discovery and depositions, and, in the most extreme scenarios, lead to corporate breakups.

Go deeper: Fears of Big Tech scrutiny hit Wall Street

Go deeper

New York AG finds Cuomo sexually harassed women, violated state and federal law

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

An independent investigation found that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including employees in his office, in violation of state and federal law, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Cuomo, who has denied wrongdoing and urged critics to wait for the results of the independent inquiry, will now face renewed pressure to resign. He must also determine whether he will continue his 2022 re-election campaign.

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Why it matters: The mandate is the first of its kind for a major U.S. city, according to de Blasio. France and Italy announced similar requirements last month.

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Exclusive: Facebook's first-ever paid movie premiere

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For the first time ever, a film distributor will use Facebook to debut a movie exclusively via a ticketed live event, executives tell Axios.

Driving the news: "The Outsider," a controversial documentary about the construction of the 9/11 Museum in Manhattan, will premiere publicly on Facebook for $3.99 on Aug. 19.