Us Federal Trade Commission, Big Tech Regulation

Us Federal Trade Commission, Big Tech Regulation

FTC chief says he’s willing to break up big tech companies

FTC chief says he’s willing to break up big tech companies

14.8.2019

FTC chief says he’s willing to break up big tech companies

[WASHINGTON] The head of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said he's prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers as his agency investigates whether companies including Facebook Inc are harming competition. Read more at The Business Times.

[WASHINGTON] The head of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said he's prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers as his agency investigates whether companies including Facebook Inc are harming competition.

Mr Simons is overseeing a tech task force to examine conduct in the industry and could move to unwind mergers if investigators find the deals were anticompetitive. The agency has opened a broad investigation into Facebook, including whether the company acquired startups to thwart competition, according to people familiar with the matter.

Antitrust experts and lawmakers argue that giant tech companies have used a wave of takeovers of startups to shut down competition by buying - and eliminating - emerging rivals.

US antitrust officials could move to undo the acquisitions even though they previously won approval, Mr Simons said. The FTC could say"we made a mistake," he said. A breakup would require court approval.

The FTC is examining conduct of tech companies in parallel with the Justice Department's antitrust division, which in July announced a broad inquiry into the biggest online platforms to determine whether they are harming competition. The announcement cited concerns about search, social media and online retail, suggesting at least partial overlap with the FTC's investigation of Facebook.

William Kovacic, a former FTC commissioner now at George Washington University's law school, called it"nuts" to take one company and split investigations into its conduct. The agencies have frequently fought over tech because it's high profile and because it overlaps with other sectors, he said.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, has been among the most outspoken about targeting Facebook, Alphabet Inc's Google and Amazon, saying earlier this year that they have too much power and should be broken up. The companies are"using mergers to limit competition" by buying competitors, she said, citing Facebook's deal for Instagram, Google‘s acquisition of mapping company Waze and Amazon.com's takeover of Diapers.com.

Read more: The Business Times
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US FTC chief says regulator is prepared to break up big tech firms: BloombergThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission is prepared to break up major technology companies if necessary by undoing past mergers, Chairman Joe Simons ...

US FTC chief says prepared to break up big tech firms: BloombergU.S. Federal Trade Commission is prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers, Chairman Joe Simons ...

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US FTC chief says prepared to break up big tech firms: BloombergU.S. Federal Trade Commission is prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers, Chairman Joe Simons ...

US FTC chief says regulator is prepared to break up big tech firms: BloombergThe U.S. Federal Trade Commission is prepared to break up major technology companies if necessary by undoing past mergers, Chairman Joe Simons ...

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