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Trump’s remarks during an appearance on CNBC came amid reports that the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are considering antitrust probes into Apple, Alphabet-owned Google, Facebook and other firms as part of a broad review into their business practices.
“I can tell you they discriminate against me,” Trump told CNBC when asked about potential antitrust probes into top tech firms. “People talk about collusion. The real collusion is between the Democrats and these companies because they were so against me during my election run. Everybody said if you don’t have them, you can’t win. Well, I won, and I’ll win again because we’re doing well and we’re not the fools anymore.”
Representatives for Amazon, Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has traded barbs with top tech leaders for months over alleged political bias on their platforms. The president warned last August that Google, Facebook and Twitter were “treading on very, very troubled territory” and they “better be careful” amid rising complaints about their practices.
Major tech firms have faced international scrutiny and growing calls for regulation amid a series of scandals related to data privacy and practices. The European Union fined Google a record $5 billion last year for violating antitrust guidelines related to its Android operating system, while Facebook has set aside billions of dollars to settle an FTC investigation into alleged misuse of user data and other violations.
Trump dismissed the European Union’s crackdown on U.S. tech companies as means of securing “easy money,” but suggested that U.S. regulators could challenge firms on similar grounds.
“They’re actually attacking our companies,” Trump said. “But we should be doing what they’re doing. They think there’s a monopoly but I’m not sure that they think that they just figure this is easy money. We’ll sue Apple for $7 billion and we’ll make a settlement or win the case. So I think it is a bad situation but obviously there is something going on in terms of monopoly. ”