An Amazon banner is blowing in front of the future Amazon distribution centre, which is scheduled to start operations in autumn 2019.
Martin Schutt—picture alliance via Getty Image
By Alan Murray and David Meyer
June 3, 2019

Good morning from London.

Antitrust scrutiny of both Google and Amazon appears to be heating up. The Washington Post reported Saturday that the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission had reached an agreement under which Justice would take responsibility for Google antitrust matters and the FTC would handle Amazon. Neither agency would comment on the report; but that sort of internal agreement usually presages intensified scrutiny.

Google already faces antitrust fines in Europe because of charges its search algorithms favor its own products. Rival Yelp has pushed such action for years. Any case against Amazon would likely be more precedent-setting. U.S. antitrust law in recent decades has been been premised on the notion of consumer harm, and Amazon overall has had a positive impact on consumer prices. But there is growing concern that the sheer size and market power of the Seattle-based company has an anti-competitive effect. Among the readers of CEO Daily who answered our recent CEO poll, roughly half felt both Amazon and Google are “in need of increased regulation.”

Moreover, limiting the market power of big tech companies may be one of the few areas where Republicans and Democrats can find political common cause. Democratic presidential candidates have been calling for increased antitrust scrutiny on the campaign trail, while President Trump and other Republicans have attacked Amazon and Google for political bias.

I’ll be reporting from the Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit today and tomorrow. Other news below.

Alan Murray


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