Washington officially launched Tuesday a large-scale survey of US technology giants, social networks, search engines as retail outlets suspected of using anti-competitive practices.
The authorities do not name targeted companies, but they seem to be targeted companies, such as Google, Facebook or Amazon that dominate their markets.
Although it sells mostly iPhone and other electronic devices, Apple can also fire in the extent to which the group manages the App Store.
According to the statement, the US Department of Justice wants to know if these companies "Integrating into practices that have reduced competition, prevent innovation or affect consumers".
American regulators and election contesters have been bombing technology giants for several months, accused of being too strong or even monopolistic.
In early June, the Justice Committee of the House of Representatives announced the commencement of the investigation "Competition on the digital market", which states this "A small number of dominant and unregulated platforms" had "Extraordinary power in commerce, communications and information online".
For example, Google is regularly suspected of giving priority to its own services to the detriment of its competitors in search engine results.
Fear of Internet users
The purpose of the poll published on Tuesday is "To assess the conditions of competition on online platforms in an objective and balanced way and to ensure that Americans have the choice of competition", a real statement.
The authorities want it "Take into account the widespread fears of consumers, businesses and entrepreneurs" that have "Concerns about search services, social networks and ecommerce platforms".
"Without the discipline of meaningful competition, digital platforms can use ways that do not meet the requirements of consumers"said Makan Delrahim, an antitrust official at the US Department of Justice, in a statement.
US authorities are not the only ones to blame silians from Silicon Valley for their practices.
The European Commission has accused it of violating competition rules and has already ordered Alphabet, the parent company Google, three large fines in three years, and announced the opening of a new company last week. "Thorough investigation" on the Amazon online giant, suspected of using the data of independent retailers who sell their advantages on their site.
In the event of non-compliance with competition rules, the US regulatory authorities have the power not only to impose the sanctions imposed, but also to impose "Structural" to ensure greater competition in the market, including distribution.
However, analyst at Wedbush Securities Dan Ives says such a sentence seems unlikely.
"This fight between titans between Washington and the giant technology makes more noise than damage" for the sector and. t "There will likely be some changes to the economic model and not to the forced disintegration of activities"commented in a message.
In any case, the companies concerned will be able to respond to these accusations when publishing their quarterly results, Wednesday for Facebook, and Thursday for the Amazon and the Abeceda.