Another major concern for the department is the likely expense of a court battle with the two companies, each of which has a market value exceeding $1 trillion. That issue became more fraught this week when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) torpedoed Democrats’ Build Back Better package, which would have given DOJ a $500 million boost for antitrust enforcement.
Senate Democrats vow to hold a vote on the $1.7 trillion bill anyway in January. The department could also get extra cash in other upcoming legislative packages, such as a Senate-passed bill to aid U.S. competition with China.
For now, however, DOJ is weighing what antitrust cases can move forward with its current funding, though the people emphasized that decisions will be based on the legal merits.
Arlen Morales, a Justice Department spokesperson, declined to comment. Google and Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google and Apple probes: The department has been investigating Google’s advertising technology business and Apple’s lucrative App Store since 2019, probes that continued even after DOJ sued Google in October 2020 over its online search business.
During the past year, the department’s team has drafted an antitrust complaint focused on Google’s dominance of the technology used to buy and sell the online display ads that fund many websites. The complaint is similar to one that attorneys general in Texas and other states filed last year, though the Justice Department’s version has…