Posted on June 27, 2019

White House to Hold Social Media Summit Amid Trump Attacks

Margaret Harding McGill and Cristiano Lima, Politico, June 26, 2019

The White House will host “digital leaders” for a meeting next month amid President Donald Trump’s escalating attacks on Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The Social Media Summit set for July 11 will focus on the “opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said.

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The announcement came the same day Trump said the federal government should file lawsuits against some of the tech giants. The president has accused Google, Facebook and Twitter of being biased against him and other conservatives—a charge the companies have repeatedly denied.

“Look, we should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which, perhaps we will,” Trump said during a phone interview on Fox Business.

Trump has suggested the internet companies may run afoul of federal antitrust laws and floated possible enforcement action against them. Earlier this month, he suggested U.S. regulators should levy massive fines against the tech giants, saying “obviously there is something going on in terms of monopoly” in the sector.

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Trump’s mounting grievances come as antitrust officials at both the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission turn their focus to the dominant role the tech giants play in the economy and daily life. Reports emerged in recent weeks that the DOJ will take the lead on potential antitrust probes of Google and Apple, while the FTC will handle Facebook and Amazon. Neither agency has announced an antitrust investigation, but the arrangement can be the first step toward such an effort.

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