Trump: Big tech companies ‘discriminate against me’

President Trump on Monday accused technology companies like Facebook and Google of discriminating against him, adding that there’s “something going on in terms of monopoly.”

The president phoned into CNBC’s “Squawk Box” when he was asked about large tech companies and whether they could be subjected to antitrust laws.

The president cited the European Union’s multibillion-dollar fines against U.S. tech companies and suggested the continental bloc is using the tactic to make financial gains, but that the U.S. should be taking a more vigorous stance on antitrust enforcement when it comes to Silicon Valley.

{mosads}”They’re our companies, so they’re actually attacking our companies,” Trump said. “But we should be doing what they’re doing.”

But Trump stopped short of committing to what his administration would consider doing to crackdown on a monopoly.

“I can tell you they discriminate against me,” Trump said when asked about companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon. “People talk about collusion. The real collusion is between the Democrats and these companies because they were so against me during my election run.”

Trump has frequently alleged that he and other conservatives are the victims of bias on tech and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google. The companies have been adamant that political leanings play no role in the enforcement of their policies.

His comments come the day before the House Judiciary Committee is holding the first hearing of its wide-ranging antitrust investigation into tech giants. The bipartisan probe is exploring whether antitrust laws need revising in order to reign in big data-hoarding firms and whether the administration’s antitrust enforcers are doing enough to keep digital markets competitive.

CNBC co-host Joe Kernen asked Trump whether, setting his personal grievances aside, he believes there should be an update to monopoly laws to address tech companies. The president acknowledged there’s “something going on,” and pointed to the European Union’s use of litigation against those corporations.

“Every week you see them going after Facebook, and Apple, and all of these companies that are, you know, great companies,” Trump said. “But I will say that the European Union is suing them all the time.”

“They think there’s a monopoly but I’m not sure that they think that, they just figure this is easy money,” Trump added. “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 was noncommittal about whether the U.S. would take a similar approach, telling CNBC “we’re going to look at it differently.”

Harper Neidig contributed to this report which was updated at 10:54 a.m.

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