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Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
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  • The Department of Justice’s antitrust boss said Biden’s team will continue to investigate tech firms.
  • Makan Delrahim said the scrutiny of tech firms is crucial for protecting competition. 
  • Biden will take on antitrust cases from Google, Apple, and Facebook once he takes office.
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Makan Delrahim, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust boss, said Wednesday the Biden administration will continue the federal government’s antitrust investigations into US tech companies once it comes to power in January.

The Trump administration’s outgoing competition chief, told Bloomberg he expects that a group of staff attorneys in President-elect Joe Biden’s Justice Department will be in charge of carrying on the inquiries into companies such as Google.

Delrahim, who will finish his job on January 19, said scrutinizing tech companies by enforcers is crucial for protecting competition in digital markets.

“In markets where you have network effects which lead to a winner-take-all, you want to ensure there is continued competition, continued innovation,” he said. The Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and Congress “are right on the money in taking a close look.”

As soon as Biden takes office in January, his administration will take on the Justice Department’s landmark lawsuit against Google, which was filed in October. It claims the company disadvantaged smaller competitors through a network of exclusionary business deals.

Delrahim, who is recused from the Google investigation, said Congress should "take a look to see if there are other avenues at addressing this rather than the typical slow adversarial process we have" for solving antitrust cases.

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On top of the Google case, the DOJ is examining Apple's App Store practices that puts competitors at a disadvantage with a 30% tax on in-app purchases.

Facebook is also being investigated over its recent acquisitions, which critics said helped the platform to neutralize competition threats.

Merrick Garland, a judge on the US court of appeals in Washington whom Biden will nominate as attorney general, will take on the responsibility on investigating tech firms, Bloomberg reported. Biden has not yet announced his pick for antitrust chief.

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