Alphabet tanks on report the DOJ is looking into launching an antitrust probe of Google
- The Department of Justice is looking into launching an antitrust probe into Google's business practices, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
- The online-search giant's shares fell more than 4% early Monday.
- Watch Google trade live.
Google may soon be the subject of antitrust probe by the Department of Justice, according to a report from Wall Street Journal reporters Brent Kendall and John McKinnon. Business Insider later confirmed the reports, citing a source on Capital Hill. Google parent Alphabet fell more than 4.5% early Monday.
The investigation would examine the competitive practices of Google's search business as well as other segments of the firm, such as YouTube and Waymo. The report comes after the Federal Trade Commission declined to take action in 2013, after a multi-year investigation.Both the DOJ and the FTC have jurisdiction over the search giant's competitive practices. The investigation comes after calls for stronger regulation of Google and other tech giants, such as Facebook and Amazon, from Democratic presidential candidates.
Facebook has faced intense criticism for its role in running Russia-based advertisements during the 2016 presidential election, while Amazon has drawn new scrutiny from the FTC, according to a subsequent report from The Washington Post.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has been the most strident critic so far, calling for the outright break-up of the companies. "Today's big tech companies have too much power," said Warren campaign representative Saloni Sharma.
"Elizabeth's plan would help ensure tech giants do not crowd out potential competitors, smother the next generation of great tech companies, and wield so much power that they can undermine our democracy," Sharma added.
Alphabet shares are little changed this year.here.