Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google-parent Alphabet are facing significant antitrust risk before and after the 2020 election. However, Facebook and Alphabet are the most exposed to accusations of innovation-stifling and anti-competitive practices, according to U.S. multinational independent investment bank Cowen.
The alliance of nearly all state attorneys general to investigate both Google and Facebook — on top of Federal Trade Commission or Department of Justice action — is perhaps the most underappreciated threat, stated the Cowen note.
“Given the states’ historical lack of antitrust action, their Google and Facebook investigations could be viewed as political grandstanding. We think that would be a mistake,” the team wrote in a note to clients published on Friday.
“Based on meetings we’ve held – plus the unprecedented state-only lawsuit against T-Mobile/Sprint (which no one, including us, saw coming) – we believe state AGs are now willing to take antitrust enforcement actions independent of DOJ and the FTC,” they added.