AtmosphereMade By Google, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Oct 2017

Wall Street is moving away from big tech as Washington seems to be moving in.

Shares of Google-parent Alphabet Inc. dropped 6.1 percent to $1,036.23 trading Monday as investors worried over news reports that the Justice Department was inching toward an antitrust probe of the search giant. The stock has fallen 20 percent since its record close of $1,296.20 on April 29.

And new reports surfaced that the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have arranged to expand and divvy up oversight of tech giants Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook. Reportedly, the latest development hinges on an agreement between the two arms of the federal government, with the FTC helming antitrust probes into Amazon and Facebook and the Justice Department investigating Google and Apple.

That helped pressure shares of the tech giants.

Facebook’s stock fell 7.5 percent to $164.15 as Twitter dropped 5.5 percent to $34.43 and Amazon lost 4.6 percent to $1,692.69 and Apple slipped 1 percent to $173.30.

The news arrived as Apple took the stage at its Worldwide Developers Conference to reveal updates for its wearable, mobile and desktop technologies, sending Apple stock lower on a day that would normally perk up shares as investors reset to what is starting to look like a new regulatory backdrop for Silicon Valley.

For Google, if an antitrust probe did materialize, it would be the latest in a long line of investigations into the company’s search and advertising business. A 2011 case, in which the Federal Trade Commission took aim at Google’s use of cookies to track Safari web browser users, led to a $22.5 million fine. In Europe, the European Commission took issue with how Google ranked search results in its shopping platform in 2017 and fined the company again this year for anti-competitive practices.

The stock drop comes as the giant pushes forward with growth initiatives, including a new cloud platform and shopping efforts.

Google and other major tech companies have become the subject of heightened criticisms over the power they wield as their ability to collect and crunch personal data grows. Calls to break up “Big Tech” have become a drumbeat in some circles, with Democratic representatives, presidential candidates and others turning the issue into a platform.

Earlier this year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren hit the campaign trail urging the break-up of major tech firms such as Facebook and Google. And while Silicon Valley as a whole might lean more toward regulation than monopoly-busting, Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes penned an op-ed for The New York Times a few weeks ago that supported the break-up bandwagon.

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