Apple Store in New YorkSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • The Justice Department is looking at big tech companies.
  • Apple, Facebook, and Google are believed to be those inestigated.
  • Ryan Shores, formerly a partner with an international law firm has now been hired.

The Justice Department has hired a big name in its ongoing antitrust investigation into whether large technology companies have a case to answer. And while nobody has confirmed which companies are under the microscope it's believed by many that Apple, Facebook, and Google are top of the list.

To help it gather a case The Justice Department has hired a new specialist with a strong background in antitrust cases. Ryan Shores is from the private sector and was previously a partner at an international law firm, according to Reuters (via 9to5Mac.)

The Justice Department beefed up its online platform investigation team on Wednesday by adding Ryan Shores, formerly a partner with an international law firm...

Shores, who comes from the law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP, was named to join the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, which oversees the Antitrust Division, among others, the department said. At Shearman, Shores, who had clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, focused on antitrust and other complex litigation in federal and state courts...

"The addition of Associate Deputy Attorney General Ryan A. Shores for this important role reflects the significance of the Department's review of competitive conditions among online platforms," said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen in a statement. "His years of high-stakes antitrust and litigation expertise will bring invaluable experience to the review as he works closely with our Antitrust Division."

The inveistgation is trying to ascertain whether tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google use their scale and market domination as a way to impact the competition. Apple in particular has been accused of using the App Store as a way to take money from developers. Apps cannot be sold via any method other than Apple's App Store, for example. It's also been accused of promoting its own apps rather than those developed by third-parties or its competitors.