What you need to know

  • The House of Representatives will report on its antitrust probe in early 2020.
  • Chair of the Panel David Cicilline revealed the timeline on Friday.
  • Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are the firms under scrutiny, initial submissions have already begun.

The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will deliver its final report on its antitrust probe in early 2020, according to reports.

According to Reuters during a hearing on Friday, chair of the panel Rep. David Cicilline said:

"Our hope is to conclude our evidence collection end of this year, beginning of next year with the idea that we will have a final report, instead of recommendations in the first part of next year,"

Cicilline was speaking at a hearing on the effect of consumer data collection on online competition, alongside Rohit Chopra, Commissioner of the Federal Trade commission.

Whilst the probe essentially seeks to determine whether current rules and regulations are sufficient to monitor practices, it could lead to tougher rules that govern certain anticompetitive practices. Chopra at least believes that financial penalties alone are not enough, going so far as to vote against a decision to fine Facebook $5 billion over online privacy earlier this year. Apple practices under scrutiny include "sherlocking", the adoption of third-party ideas (i.e. Luna Display to Sidecar), as well as mangement of the app store, revenue sharing and user options to use third-party apps in place of default offerings.

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On Thursday it was reported that all companies involved, including Apple had begun to make their initial submissions to the committee. Full disclosure has not yet been received, but the committee expects all of the companies to fully comply.

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