Shares in Alphabet Inc. have fallen after news of a Justice Department Antitrust investigation into Google started circulating online. Following the first details discussing the potential federal investigation on Monday, shares of the Google parent company dropped by 6.1 percent.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the investigation into Google was allegedly prompted when a number of unnamed individuals contacted the Justice Department with criticisms over the company's advertising and search businesses. These sources have remained anonymous due to their close ties with the company, to say nothing of the nature of their various claims.
As things stand right now, it's unclear what exactly the Justice Department is supposed to be looking into specifically. However, the investigation provides yet-another opportunity for Google's inner workings to be combed over another regulatory body. In fact, a report by the Washington Post states that the Justice Department only recently began looking at Google after taking the lead away from the Federal Trade Commission, who had previously been in charge of the company's antitrust oversight efforts.
This news coincides with a similar probe by the DOJ into Apple. News broke through Reuters just yesterday stating that the Justice Department "has been given jurisdiction for [a] potential probe of Apple." Between two of the biggest tech companies on the globe, antitrust investigations could cause some serious issues, especially among stockholders.
Antitrust investigations are only going to continue as companies like Google continue to expand. The more power and influence one business holds, the worse things supposedly are for the market in general. In this case, the Justice Department is simply doing its job. With that said, we can likely expect that Google stockholders will be feeling a little anxious until the buzz surrounding the investigation dies down.