Mnuchin urges antitrust review of big tech amid Google scrutiny

Mnuchin urges antitrust review of big tech amid Google scrutiny
© Greg Nash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Defense: Trump hits Iranian central bank with sanctions | Trump meeting with Ukrainian leader at UN | Trump touts relationship with North Korea's Kim as 'best thing' for US Trump says he's sanctioning Iran's national bank Lawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills MORE on Monday encouraged the Department of Justice to review major technology companies like Google over concerns related to the potential harm they pose to market competition.

“These issues deserve to be reviewed carefully,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview in response to a question about a report exploring antitrust concerns related to Google.

“These are issues the Justice Department needs to look at seriously, not for any one company, but as these technology companies have a greater and greater impact on the economy,” he continued.

A CBS News report on Sunday focused on the size of Google’s business and critics' efforts to rein it in. Those critics include attorneys and European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, whose commission handed Google a record $2.7 billion fine earlier this year over anticompetitive concerns regarding its search results.  

Vestager told CBS News that she wants Google’s “illegal behavior to stop.”

“You have to look at the power they have and it’s something the Justice Department, I hope, takes a serious look at,” Mnuchin said.

Google’s critics, like Vestager, Yelp and others, have complained that the company is using its position as a gatekeeper to much of the internet by prioritizing its own content and information in prime spots in its search results. They charge that Google pushes its competitors' results lower, where they’ll receive fewer clicks, undermining their businesses.