WASHINGTON — Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law; and David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, today issued requests for information (RFIs) to Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Committee members will use this information as they continue their bipartisan investigation into competition in the tech sector.
“The Judiciary Committee is investigating the relationship between big tech and market competition,” said Collins. “We are continuing to hold hearings and roundtables, but we need more information. Today, we are issuing formal document requests and other requests for written information from big tech companies about their business practices. This information is key in helping determine whether anticompetitive behavior is occurring, whether our antitrust enforcement agencies should investigate specific issues and whether or not our antitrust laws need improvement to better promote competition in the digital markets.”
“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 corporations have come to capture an outsized share of online commerce and communications,” said Nadler. “It is increasingly difficult to use the Internet without relying on these services. The documents requested will provide the Committee with a better understanding of the degree to which these intermediaries enjoy market power, how they are using that market power, whether they are using their market power in ways that have harmed consumers and competition, and how Congress should respond.”
“This committee is charged with evaluating the effectiveness of our current antitrust laws,” said Sensenbrenner. “I appreciate the willingness of certain tech companies to come before our committee and answer questions. However, we still need more information about their business practices at this fact-finding stage of this investigation. Again, I stress to my colleagues that a bipartisan outcome will require an open-minded process.”
“We made it clear when we launched this bipartisan investigation that we plan to get all the facts we need to diagnose the problems in the digital marketplace. Today’s document requests are an important milestone in this investigation as we work to obtain the information that our Members need to make this determination,” said Cicilline. “We expect stakeholders to use this opportunity to provide information to the Committee to ensure that the Internet is an engine for opportunity for everyone, not just a select few gatekeepers.”
Each of the RFIs seeks:
- Emails from key company executives pertaining to matters raising specific competition concerns;
- Documents from any government investigations (foreign or domestic) into the company;
- A list of all cases filed against the company alleging anticompetitive behavior;
- Documents provided to the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission or any other government entity within the last 10 years relating to the Clayton Act (which prescribes government review of potentially anticompetitive mergers);
- Organizational charts for the company and each of its U.S. divisions;
- A list of the company’s competitors in markets for the company’s products and services and accompanying reasons each entity listed is considered a competitor; and
- Financial statements or reports — including profit-and-loss reports — for the company’s products and services.
The letters are available below: