The threat level rose for Big Tech in Washington over the weekend, as U.S. antitrust regulators reportedly took steps toward greater scrutiny for Google and Amazon.

Why it matters: These moves could 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.


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

Between the lines: It's not uncommon for the agencies to negotiate over who gets to vet which companies and markets, and the move might be a sign of real interest in pursuing the two firms.

  • The FTC had already signaled its intention to look at tech giants with a new task force. What's new is its claim over Amazon.

Yes, but: Claiming the jurisdiction to investigate a company or launching an investigation remains multiple steps away from filing an actual antitrust lawsuit.

The bottom line: There are already numerous investigations into Big Tech, and hundreds of lawmakers are grappling with how to regulate it around the world. A U.S. antitrust case against either Google or Amazon would nonetheless be game changing — if it materializes.

Go deeper

Trump's Tucker mind-meld

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,366,145 — Total deaths: 532,644 — Total recoveries — 6,154,138Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 2,874,396 — Total deaths: 129,870 — Total recoveries: 906,763 — Total tested: 35,512,916Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity — Houston mayor warns about hospitals
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Former Trump official Tom Bossert says face masks “are not enough”
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: Sports return stalked by coronavirus
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Bolton's hidden aftershocks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.