×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FTC Launches Task Force to Monitor Big Tech

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission is launching a task force to monitor technology markets, and its scrutiny will include proposed mergers and ones that have already taken place.

The task force will take enforcement action “when warranted,” the FTC said.

The move is a response to increased concerns among Democrats and Republicans over the market power of big tech platforms, such as Google and Facebook.

“The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day,” Joe Simons, FTC chairman, said in a statement. “As I’ve noted in the past, it makes sense for us to closely examine technology markets to ensure consumers benefit from free and fair competition.”

The FTC already has been holding a series of hearings that include questions of whether current antitrust laws are adequate to respond to the growth of platforms.

President Donald Trump has railed against big tech, although he has claimed the Silicon Valley companies have a bias against the right. “Facebook, Twitter and Google are so biased toward the Dems it is ridiculous!” he wrote in December.

The task force will include 17 staff attorneys and will be led by Patricia Galvan, who is the deputy assistant director the the Mergers III Division, and Krisha Cerilli, who is counsel to the director of the division, Bruce Hoffman.

In a statement, Hoffman said that technology markets “raise distinct challenges for antitrust enforcement.”

“By centralizing our expertise and attention, the new task force will be able to focus on these markets exclusively – ensuring they are operating pursuant to the antitrust laws, and taking action where they are not,” he said.

Popular on Variety

More Politics

  • Jane Fonda Arrested

    Jane Fonda Arrested (Again) With Sam Waterston in Climate Change Protest

    Jane Fonda was arrested again on Friday for protesting outside the Capitol in an effort to urge U.S. officials to take climate change seriously. This time, however, fellow “Grace and Frankie” actor Sam Waterston joined in on the protest and was also arrested. “Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 17 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating [...]

  • Elijah Cummings dead

    Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68

    Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings, a prominent civil rights activist, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and key figure in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, died on Thursday from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to a statement issued by his office. He was 68. Cummings has been a representative of Maryland’s 7th [...]

  • U.K. and E.U. Strike New Brexit

    U.K., E.U. Strike New Brexit Deal, but It Faces Tough Sell in Parliament

    The U.K. has reached a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union, but faces a major challenge getting it approved by lawmakers in Parliament. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” and called on lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday. [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Twitter Explains What It Would Take for Trump’s Account or Tweets to Be Deleted

    Twitter grants special exemptions to Donald Trump and other “world leaders” from its code of conduct, including from rules that apply to everyone else. But the social network — which is Trump’s go-to megaphone — says nobody is “above our policies entirely.” Critics including presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris have blasted Twitter for failing to [...]

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker,

    Democrats Debate: Elizabeth Warren Calls for Breakup of Tech Companies

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the breakup of big tech companies on Tuesday night, as the candidates debated the size and influence of the technology sector in society. “I’m not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy,” Warren said, citing Amazon as a company that controls [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

    Democratic Debate: Elizabeth Warren Takes Fire From Moderates

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren came under fire from her more moderate opponents in Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, who challenged her plan for “Medicare for all” and her wealth tax proposal. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke took on Warren more forcefully than they have in previous debates. Buttigieg called her out [...]

  • Elizabeth Warren

    Elizabeth Warren's Fundraising Approach Worries Some Donors

    Elizabeth Warren raised nearly $25 million last quarter, and she did it without ever once setting foot in a fancy living room in Bel Air or Brentwood. Last week, she announced that if she is the Democratic nominee, she will continue to avoid high-dollar fundraisers in the general election. And on Tuesday, she went further, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content