President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast earlier today that his administration is “looking at” antitrust proceedings against Google, Amazon, and Facebook, Business Insider reports.
The European Union’s $5 billion fine against Google — as the Verge reported, Google was hit with a record-breaking fee in July this year, after the EU concluded that the tech giant had abused its market dominance in multiple areas — has apparently cemented the president’s opinion.
“You look at the European Union, they fined I guess it was Google, billions of dollars, and frankly I don’t like that they’re doing that because that’s an American company,” Trump said.
“I don’t think it’s good that they’re doing that. But if anybody does that, it should be us doing it,” he added, signaling possible legal action against the massive tech companies.
When asked whether the Justice Department will investigate certain tech giants and take legal action against them, Trump said that is “certainly something” that the administration is “looking at.”
After being pressed on the issue, the president said that he was “in charge,” and once again reaffirmed that a crackdown on tech monopolies is indeed being considered by his administration.
“I think most people surmised that,” Trump concluded.
These comments do not come as a surprise, considering the fact that the president previously indicated that he is not fond of the business practices employed by Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
In late August, according to the Hill, Trump signaled for the first time that all three companies may be provoking antitrust action.
Previously, Trump had accused tech companies — social networks in particular — of being biased against conservatives, slamming Facebook, Google, and Twitter for allegedly removing conservative content and promoting liberal media.
These accusations echoed similar claims by prominent conservative politicians, journalists, and pundits.
Trump hints at potential crackdown on Silicon Valley's biggest players, from Apple to Facebook: https://t.co/SzHUEZNnWB
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 5, 2018
The European Union — with which Trump has had many disagreements with — is known for its hardline stance against tech monopolies.
Apart from fining Google, the European Commission also cracked down on Intel, Microsoft, and Facebook.
Intel was fined $1.21 billion, Microsoft was fined $1.7 billion, as Microsoft was fined twice — and Facebook was fined $125 million.
Investor’s Business Daily argues that Donald Trump is actually right to assume that social media companies are biased against conservatives, since reports state that Google employees, for instance, gave 90 percent of their political donations to the Democratic Party.
Likewise, according to the publication, studies have shown that Amazon has also given 90 percent of its political donations to Democratic political action committees.
“Claims that the social media giants are politically neutral is a joke,” the outlet concludes.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Trump administration will take action and bust tech monopolies, but Politico recently predicted that the misuse of user data would be the next big antitrust standoff.