Amazon, Microsoft and Google Went on Massive Buying Spree in 2021 Despite D.C.’s Vow to Reign in Big Tech

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  • Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon all announced more acquisitions in 2021 than any other year in the past decade, according to Dealogic.
  • The torrid pace suggests companies are either trying to do deals before an antitrust crackdown or challenging regulators to win court cases to block them.
  • FTC chief Lina Khan told CNBC in an exclusive interview that it “takes courage” to fight back against large technology companies, even if the agency might not have slam dunk cases against them.

In the seven months since Lina Khan took over as chair of the Federal Trade Commission, there’s been a cold war brewing between several of the largest technology companies and regulators. The question for 2022 is if it turns hot.

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Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet announced more deals in 2021 than any other year in the past decade, according to data compiled by Dealogic. That pace of deals signals they’re trying to get in front of an upcoming antitrust crackdown — or they don’t believe Khan and other regulators will be able to make a strong enough court case that acquisitions should be blocked.

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