Trump Antitrust Chief Says No Sign of Competitive Harm From Tech

(Bloomberg) -- The head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division said he hasn’t seen evidence technology giants like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Inc. are harming competition, despite criticism of the companies from President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Major online platforms have significant market power, but the question for antitrust enforcers is whether or not they’re taking steps to stifle innovations that challenge that dominance, Makan Delrahim said Friday at an Axios event in Washington.

“You’re hearing various anecdotal stories, but I don’t know if any of the enforcement bodies necessarily have that credible evidence of that type,” he said.

Delrahim’s remarks came days after he and Sessions met with a group of state attorneys general about protecting consumers who use technology platforms. Trump, who’s claimed that tech firms have suppressed conservative views, is considering an executive order calling antitrust investigations of the companies.

Delrahim said there are “valid concerns” about technology companies, and that enforcers at the state, federal and international levels are “on guard” for misconduct.

“Antitrust law is not there to punish a competitor once they become successful and gain market share,” he said. “It’s only once they start getting outside of their lane and take action that’s going to harm consumers.”

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