U.S. President Donald Trump said during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday that there is “something going on in terms of monopoly” regarding major U.S. technology companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Trump took aim at the antitrust fines that the European Union has been imposing on U.S. tech giants. The president said that although the tech industry heavyweights could, in fact, be monopolies, the U.S. government should be the one imposing the penalties.
“The European Union is suing them all of the time. Well, we should be doing this. They’re our companies. So, [the EU is] actually attacking our companies, but we should be doing what they’re doing. They think there’s a monopoly, but I’m not sure that they think that. They just think this is easy money. We’ll sue Apple for $7 billion, and we’ll make a settlement or win the case. So I think it is a bad situation, but obviously there is something going on in terms of monopoly.” the president said.
The EU has been investigating Facebook since is member countries passed strict new privacy laws called the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018. European regulators have also slapped Google with heavy fines for its abusive practices, including how it brokered online advertisements for other websites like travel aggregators, newspapers, and blogs.
Regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. have are also ramping up efforts to investigate the tech companies. The U.S. Department of Justice has been given oversight over Google and Apple, while the Federal Trade Commission is handling antitrust issues related to Amazon and Facebook.
The House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust is also set to hold a hearing Tuesday, June 11 to find out whether the market dominance that the firms enjoy could be stifling competition and hurting consumers.
When asked about the antitrust probes that the agencies are opening into the companies, Trump said: “I can tell you they discriminate against me. People talk about collusion. The real collusion is between the Democrats and these companies because they were so against me during my election run. Everybody said if you don’t have them, you can’t win. Well I won, and I’ll win again because we’re doing well and we’re not the fools anymore.”