Big tech's antitrust wipeout: $33 billion erased from the value of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google after DOJ announces probe

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Big tech's antitrust wipeout: $33 billion erased from the value of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google after DOJ announces probe

Tech v Trump (Jake Kanter's thumb - please do not use)

BI Graphics/Skye Gould

Big tech is to be investigated by Donald Trump's administration.

  • Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google's share prices fell after the US Department of Justice announced an antitrust investigation into "online platforms."
  • As of 5.30 a.m. EST, around $33 billion was wiped off the value of these big tech firms in pre-market trading.
  • Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said the DOJ's investigation would be an "overhang" on stocks.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Billions of dollars are set to be wiped from the value of America's biggest tech firms after the US Department of Justice took the unusual step of announcing an antitrust investigation.

The DOJ said Tuesday that it is launching a broad probe into whether "online platforms" are illegally harming their competitors and stifling innovation.

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In a press release, the justice department did not name names, but said it would focus on "market-leading" companies, meaning it is likely to encompass Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.

The share price of all four companies took a hit in after-hours trading and the losses continued into pre-market trading on Wednesday morning. Here's how things stood at 5.30 a.m. EST:

  • Alphabet: Down 0.96%, wiping $7.6 billion off its value
  • Amazon: Down 1%, a $9.8 billion hit to its market cap
  • Apple: Down 1.04%, a $6.8 billion drop in value
  • Facebook: Down 1.46%, erasing $8.4 billion in value

Put together, the losses represent around $33 billion of lost value for the tech companies. That's more than the GDP of Zimbabwe, according to the World Bank.

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Read more: The Department of Justice just launched a broad probe into whether big tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and others illegally harm competition

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been agitating for an investigation into the power of the tech companies and President Donald Trump has long hinted that he shares these concerns.

He has said Google, Amazon, and Facebook might be "very antitrust," and has repeatedly attacked Google over its perceived, but unproven, anti-conservative bias.

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Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said the DOJ's investigation represents a "shot across the bow" for big tech, but said it was unlikely to result in drastic action. He added, however, that it could be an "overhang on the stocks," and said investors should focus on the fundamentals of the firms involved.

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