Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Cramer feels there may be an antitrust case to be made against Big Tech’s dominance. But he thinks the Trump administration is going after these companies for political reasons.
“I know this sounds odd,” Cramer said. “But these are companies that the president sees as uniquely Democratic. So therefore they are game, they are fodder.”
The White House was not immediately available for comment on Cramer’s remarks.
Meanwhile, most of the companies were quiet on the reports of government scrutiny, but Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS that Apple’s nondominant position in the global smartphone market proves it’s not a monopoly.
There are reports that the Justice Department is preparing an antitrust probe of Google, and that the DOJ has been given jurisdiction over Apple’s practices as part of a broader review into the behavior of tech companies. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission has reportedly assumed oversight of Amazon and Facebook, in looking at how those companies could potentially be harming competition.
Cramer said he understands Trump going after Amazon because the president, since the 2016 campaign, has repeatedly slammed the e-commerce giant and its founder Jeff Bezos. Trump has called out Amazon for not paying enough taxes. He’s criticized the Bezos-owned Washington Post for alleged bias against his administration.
But Cramer said Monday evening on “Mad Money” that he has no “idea what Apple did wrong in the eyes of the White House,” referring the seemingly good relationship between Trump and Cook. “It sounds like the president has had it with Apple for making so many goods in China,” Cramer speculated.
“Those companies used to seem like the crown jewels of the U.S. economy. Now they’re being treated more like enemies of the state,” Cramer said. “If that’s the case, people are going to pay a lot less for their stocks, which is exactly what we saw.”
Worries the federal government wants to slap more regulations on big technology companies weighed on tech stocks Monday, and pushed the Nasdaq into a correction, more than 10% lower since its record closing high last month. However, on Tuesday morning, tech stocks were bouncing higher and the Nasdaq was logging the kind of gains that would lift the index out of a correction if they were to hold by the close.