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Ohio Judiciary Committee schedules two big tech antitrust hearings

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The Ohio Judiciary Committee scheduled two hearings this month to investigate potential antitrust violations from big tech companies, including Facebook and Google.

State Sen. John Eklund, R-Munson Township, who chairs the committee, announced that the committee will conduct the first hearing at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Cleveland State University. The second hearing will be conducted at 1 p.m. Oct. 28 at the University of Cincinnati.

The committee will hear testimony from local data security, law enforcement and antitrust and economic development experts on what impact the tech giants have on Ohio citizens and businesses. It will look into whether the companies engaged in any anti-competitive practices that are harmful to consumers and can lead to higher costs, reduced innovation and fewer choices in the marketplace.

Most of the state attorneys general have signed onto bipartisan investigations into Google’s potential antitrust violations; eight states and the District of Columbia have announced investigations into Facebook.

Many tech giants have faced these accusations in the United States and around the world. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into potential antitrust violations by tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Apple. The European Union launched an investigation into Facebook’s Libra currency and fined Google about €1.5 billion (more than $1.6 billion) for alleged antitrust violations.

Google and Facebook have defended themselves against these accusations and have stated that they are following the law.