Shares in Facebook and Google’s parent were among tech stocks to be bruised on growing investor fears of US investigations into whether they misuse their market power.
Facebook lost 7.5% of its market value by the close of trading on Monday while Alphabet was more than 6% off on reports the government was to launch a so-called antitrust inquiry.
Amazon was down by 4.6% and Apple by 1% amid a broader flight from risk.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq later confirmed it had entered correction territory – falling more than 10% since its April peak in a sell-off mostly linked to the continuing US-China trade war.
The Reuters news agency, citing sources, said agencies with the power to investigate and demand remedies were to split the four companies between them.
It reported the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was to look at Amazon and Facebook while Apple and Google would come under the eye of the Department of Justice (DoJ).
There was no official confirmation of this or whether any of the companies were actually facing such a probe.
The big multi-national tech firms have come under similar scrutiny abroad – particularly within the EU – over concerns they have too much power and are harming users and business rivals.
The reported action follows criticism by president Trump, who has hit out at social media firms and those linked to news provision, taking them to task over fake news and saying they favour an anti-Trump agenda.
He has also accused Amazon of abusing the US postal service and taken particular aim at its chief executive Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post newspaper – often critical of the president’s performance.
The House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee did separately confirm it was to examine competition in the digital industry for the first time.
Calls for such an inquiry had attracted support across the political divide.
The companies were yet to comment on the prospect of multiple investigations.
Source: SKY NEWS