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Analyst: Trump Administration Even Less Likely To Pursue Antitrust Action Against Google Than Obama

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Analyst: Trump Administration Even Less Likely To Pursue Antitrust Action Against Google Than Obama
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Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) was the subject of a “60 Minutes” story Sunday exploring potential non-competitive business practices at Google.

Alphabet stock is trading higher Monday, and Height Capital Markets analysts said Alphabet investors don’t have anything to fear from the Trump administration.

“60 Minutes” reported that the Federal Trade Commission under the Obama administration declined to look into potential antitrust abuses by Google.

“We see the current administration’s FTC as even less likely to pursue an antitrust enforcement action as the five-member commission now includes a Republican majority,” Height said Monday.

Republicans tend to take a more relaxed approach to regulating business, the analyst firm said. In Europe, it’s an entirely different story.

“In the EU, we were not surprised that the broadcast segment focused on Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, and we were even less surprised that she elected to give a direct interview voicing her intentions to pursue an enforcement action against GOOG,” Height said.

At the end of the day, Height said Google, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and others will comply with whatever demands are asked of them to avoid facing antitrust actions.

For now, Height said investors should expect more internal policy changes, such as the privacy initiatives Facebook has unveiled this year.

These companies will likely try to stay one step ahead of regulators by self-policing and paying any fines levied on them by regulators to avoid major court battles, the firm said. 

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