House Lawmakers Launch Antitrust Investigation Into Big Tech Companies

House Lawmakers Launch Antitrust Investigation Into Big Tech Companies
The House Judiciary Committee announced that it'll start investigating competition within the tech industry.

Lawmakers are seeking to rein in the power of big tech

The House Judiciary Committee announced that it's starting a bipartisan antitrust probe into tech companies. 

Calling it a "top-to-bottom" investigation, the panel says it'll review the market power held by major technology platforms in a few ways. First, the probe will focus on competition issues and whether bigger firms are acting in an anti-competitive way. It'll also look at existing antitrust laws to gauge whether the enforcement options are appropriate. 

The companies haven't been named, but media outlets speculate it'll include Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook. 

It's the first time Congress has launched this type of investigation, even though Washington has been taking steps to crack down on big tech and the way consumers' information is handled online. Some lawmakers have floated the idea of a comprehensive national data privacy law, while critics have called for the break-up of big tech companies that they say hurt competition.

It seems to be part of a broader federal effort to monitor big tech over competition and privacy concerns. Reports have recently surfaced that the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department will split up antitrust probes into Facebook, Google and Amazon's business practices. 

The House panel's investigation will include a series of hearings and information requests, and could potentially result in new legislation. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN