The White House is drafting an executive order to look into the business practices of top tech companies like Google and Facebook, Bloomberg reported Saturday.
A copy of the draft order obtained by Bloomberg directs federal antitrust and law enforcement officials to “thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws.”
Other government agencies are then asked to provide recommendations on how to “protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias.”
Bloomberg noted that no companies are explicitly named in the order, but that it would apply to tech giants like Google, Twitter and Facebook.
President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE has recently attacked social media companies, accusing them of discriminating against and silencing conservative voices.
Social Media Giants are silencing millions of people. Can’t do this even if it means we must continue to hear Fake News like CNN, whose ratings have suffered gravely. People have to figure out what is real, and what is not, without censorship!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018
Company executives have acknowledged that some policies have mistakenly acted against voices across the political spectrum, but have denied attempting to silence or being biased against conservatives.
Executives from Twitter and Facebook testified before Congress earlier this month. The Justice Department announced the same day that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE would meet with state attorneys general to determine if tech companies are “intentionally stifling” free speech on their platforms.
“The Attorney General has convened a meeting with a number of state attorneys general this month to discuss a growing concern that these companies may be hurting competition and intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms,” a Justice Department spokesman said at the time.