Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Justice Department Prepping Antitrust Investigation
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to launch an antitrust probe into Google, the search division of Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) , according to a Friday report in The Wall Street Journal . Several other news outlets, including The New York Times and Bloomberg, have since confirmed an investigation is imminent.
The DOJ’s antitrust division has been laying the foundation for a potential inquiry for several weeks now, while negotiating for control of the probe with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which shares antitrust authority. Talks between the two regulatory bodies resulted in the FTC ceding jurisdiction of the investigation to the DOJ, according to the report, which cited “people familiar with the matter.” Neither the DOJ nor Alphabet have commented publicly on the news.
This is the latest in a series of crackdowns by government bodies, both here and abroad, to rein in what they consider questionable practices by Google.
Laying the groundwork
The agreement between the two U.S. government agencies marks the first in a series of steps that could result in a far-ranging examination of Google’s most lucrative businesses.
Google has become the world’s largest digital advertising seller and will account for an estimated 31% of global ad spending (nearly $104 billion) in 2019, according to data compiled by eMarketer. Its digital ad business is largely the result of its dominant worldwide search engine, with contributions from video site YouTube and its Android mobile operating system. Google controls more than 70% of the search engine market, according to NetMarketShare.
Any investigation by antitrust regulators could reach into every corner of Google’s operations, and violations could result in fines, sanctions on its business practices, or the worst-case scenario — a breakup of Google.
Antitrust scrutiny at home
This isn’t the first time Google has found itself in the crosshairs of U.S. antitrust regulators.
The FTC filed suit against Google in 2011, saying the company misrepresented its use of tracking cookies to users of Apple ‘s Safari internet browser. Google agreed to pay a then-record $22.5 million fine to settle the charges.
In 2012, the FTC investigated the company for anti-competitive practices. It ended that probe without further action after Google agreed to make certain changes to its business practices.
Behind the scenes of the probe, however, the investigation found that Google’s “conduct has resulted — and will result — in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.” The FTC commissioners declined to act on the recommendation of its staff, deciding that the voluntary changes made by Google would result in greater “relief” for consumers.
Under the gaze of international regulators
The potential investigation comes on the heels of numerous multibillion-dollar antitrust fines levied on Google by the European Union (EU) in recent years.
In early 2019, the legislative body of the EU, the European Commission, fined Google 1.49 billion euros($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominant market position and forcing customers to sign anti-competitive contracts. Merchants that used Google’s AdSense were forbidden by the company from placing ads with competing search providers. While the offending stipulations have since been removed from contracts, the fine was assessed retroactively.
In 2018, Google faced similar charges related to bundling Chrome and its search engine with its Android mobile operating system. EU antitrust regulators slapped Google with a then-record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine. The company was hit with a 2.42 billion euro levy ($2.7 billion at the time) in 2017 for favoring its own shopping service over those of competitors within its search results.
Overall, the bias in prices is: Downwards.
Note: this chart shows extraordinary price action to the downside.
By the way, prices are vulnerable to a correction towards 1,173.60.
The projected upper bound is: 1,159.40.
The projected lower bound is: 1,043.05.
The projected closing price is: 1,101.22.
A white body occurred (because prices closed higher than they opened).
During the past 10 bars, there have been 6 white candles and 4 black candles for a net of 2 white candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 28 white candles and 22 black candles for a net of 6 white candles.
A falling window occurred (where the bottom of the previous shadow is above the top of the current shadow). This usually implies a continuation of a bearish trend. There have been 4 falling windows in the last 50 candles–this makes the current falling window even more bearish.
Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.
One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 14.7646. This is an oversold reading. However, a signal is not generated until the Oscillator crosses above 20 The last signal was a buy 11 period(s) ago.
Relative Strength Index (RSI)
The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 33.92. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a sell 22 period(s) ago.
Commodity Channel Index (CCI)
The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is -167.This is an oversold reading. However, a signal isn’t generated until the indicator crosses above -100. The last signal was a buy 7 period(s) ago.
The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a sell 22 period(s) ago.
Rex Takasugi – TD Profile
ALPHABET INC C closed down -14.320 at 1,103.630. Volume was 4% above average (neutral) and Bollinger Bands were 9% narrower than normal.
Open High Low Close Volume___
Short Term: Oversold
Intermediate Term: Bearish
Long Term: Bearish
Moving Averages: 10-period 50-period 200-period
Close: 1,134.86 1,187.94 1,131.94
Volatility: 17 31 34
Volume: 1,231,201 1,423,667 1,622,872
Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.
ALPHABET INC C gapped down today (bearish) on normal volume. Possibility of a Runaway Gap which usually signifies a continuation of the trend. Four types of price gaps exist – Common, Breakaway, Runaway, and Exhaustion. Gaps acts as support/resistance.
ALPHABET INC C is currently 2.5% below its 200-period moving average and is in an downward trend. Volatility is extremely low when compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. There is a good possibility that there will be an increase in volatility along with sharp price fluctuations in the near future. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of GOOG.O at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bearish on GOOG.O and have had this outlook for the last 20 periods. The security price has set a new 14-period low while our momentum oscillator has not. This is a bullish divergence.