Justice Department and state prosecutors investigating Google for alleged antitrust violations are considering whether to force the company to sell its dominant Chrome browser and parts of its lucrative advertising business, three people with knowledge of the discussions said Friday.
The conversations — amid preparations for an antitrust legal battle that DOJ is expected to begin in the coming weeks — could pave the way for the first court-ordered break-up of a U.S. company in decades. The forced sales would also represent major setbacks for Google, which uses its control of the world’s most popular web browser to aid the search engine that is the key to its fortunes.
Discussions about how to resolve Google’s control over the $162.3 billion global market for digital advertising remain ongoing, and no final decisions have been made, the people cautioned, speaking anonymously to discuss confidential discussions. But prosecutors have asked advertising technology experts,
Broad-market indexes are up Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the White House following his three-day hospitalization at Walter Reed Medical Center, but tech stocks are down as the House’s antitrust report on big tech firms nears release.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq, down .1%, is the only major index down this morning following a Monday evening report from Politico that revealed a draft of the U.S. House of Representatives’ antitrust report on big tech firms, slated for release later this week, contains provisions that would make it easier to break up Silicon Valley giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet.
Each of the big four tech firms are down close to 1% this morning, with all of them now down