Trump leaves Silicon Valley on edge with antitrust comments
The President's contradictory thoughts about the tech industry highlighted in a vague TV interview
Donald Trump has said that his administration is "seriously" looking into antitrust investigations of Google, Facebook and Amazon, but he didn't commit to any diffinitive answers.
In a somewhat contradictory interview with Axios, the 45th President of the United States also argued that the three tech giants were great companies, but his quotes included vague warnings about looking into regulating the three.
The president refused to give any definitive answers when asked about Google, Facebook and Amazon enjoying a monopoly, highlighting his seemingly muddled view on the tech industry and leaving many in Silicon Valley unsure where they or the US government stands.
"I leave it to others, but I do have a lot of people talking about monopoly when they mention those three in particular," he said. "We are looking at antitrust very seriously.
"Look, that doesn't mean we're doing it, but we're certainly looking and I think most people surmise that I would imagine."
Trump was pushed on the issue and asked if his administration would ever break the companies up, but again he didn't commit to a definitive answer.
"They were talking about this years' ago, you know, they were actually talking this same subject, monopoly, years ago, long before I was in office. A lot of people thought it was going to happen, but then I guess the previous administration stopped it from happening," Trump said.
Previously the president has taken issue with Google, which he claimed rigged its search engine against politically conservative viewpoints.
"Google search results for "Trump News" shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake News Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?" he tweeted.
But, after the EU fined Google 4.3 billion following a lengthy antitrust investigation into its Android mobile operating system, the President sided with the US tech giant saying: "The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the US, but not for long!"
The subject was brought up again in the interview, but this time Trump was less complimentary towards Google and instead suggested that it should be his administration imposing regulatory actions - despite not confirming whether there would be any.
"You look at the European Union, they fined, I guess it was Google, billions of dollars and frankly I don't like that they're doing that because that's an American company," he said. "I don't think it's good that they're doing that. But if anybody does that, that should be us doing it. That shouldn't be the European Union."
The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration
Everything you need to know for a successful transitionDownload now
Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape
How key technology partners grow with your organisationDownload now
Software-defined storage for dummies
Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challengesDownload now
6 best practices for escaping ransomware
A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacksDownload now