Some Apple, FaceBook, Amazon, Google documents for US antitrust probe submitted
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The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has confirmed that Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook have all started sending data for examination — but not everything that has been requested yet.
As part of the investigation, launched in the end of the summer, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee has asked for a great deal of data. The committee has announced that the data has started to come in, but is still awaiting more.
"We have received initial submissions from Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook as part of our investigation. While we do not yet have all of the information we requested, we expect that all four companies will provide the information in short order," leaders of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said in a statement very late on Tuesday evening. "We look forward to their continued compliance with the committee's investigation."
The letter to Apple requesting data on Sept. 13 said that the House Judiciary Committee is investigating competition into digital markets. The focus of what the letter called a "bipartisan investigation" is to investigate that digital market, specifically whether dominant firms are engaging in anti-competitive conduct online. The ultimate goal is to assess if existing antitrust laws, competition policies, and current enforcement levels are adequate to address these issues.
The letter goes on to probe Apple for information about a few different issues. Perhaps one of the most well known, the House plans to investigate Apple's alleged "Sherlocking" of third-party developers.
Sherlocking is the colloquial term for a when Apple adopts a concept into their products that was previously only available through a third-party developer. Sidecar, for instance, is a popular take on concepts originally developed by third-party developers like Duet Display and Luna Display.
The committee has also asked for correspondence to or from "relevant executives" regarding Apple's crackdown on parental control apps.
The antitrust committee is also asking for information related to how Apple manages the App Store. Information requested includes Apple's policy surrounding third-party payment systems, Apple's revenue-share policy for in-app purchases, and whether or not users can choose non-Apple apps as default apps.
The other tech companies are also facing their own set of investigations.
The probe into Amazon is investigating whether or not Amazon has unfairly given an advantage to its Amazon Basics brands, as well as whether or not Amazon has attempted to create a monopoly on the book retail market.
Alphabet, Google's parent company, faces questions about its search algorithms, and whether or not it's managed to create a monopoly in search and advertising.
Facebook is, once again, being probed about data collection. However, the primary focus of the investigation is to discover whether its acquisition of competitors WhatsApp and Instagram had allowed them to establish unfair advantages in both the instant messaging and image sharing markets.