The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division on Tuesday launched a new inquiry aimed at updating guidelines to block illegal mergers. The agencies are seeking public input to update guidelines over the next 60 days.
U.S. antitrust officials can continue their case to break up Meta, Facebook’s parent company, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the social media giant, which had argued the complaint should be dismissed. The decision allows federal prosecutors to try to prove their allegations that Meta has illegally abused a monopoly in the marketplace for social media — and that its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp should be spun off.
The Federal Trade Commission is pushing forward with antitrust scrutiny of Amazon’s cloud computing business, according to people familiar with the matter. Lina Khan, the head of the agency and a vocal critic of the online retailer, is advancing a probe started several years ago by her predecessor.
Signaling a crackdown on data practices, the Federal Trade Commission has taken the first steps toward crafting new privacy regulations. The agency quietly said in a recent regulatory filing that it was considering “initiating a rulemaking under section 18 of the FTC Act to curb lax security practices, limit privacy abuses, and ensure that algorithmic decision-making does not result in unlawful discrimination.” The filing said the FTC was at the “prerule” stage, and indicated that the next step in the rulemaking process would occur in February.
FCC pick Gigi Sohn and FTC hopeful Alvaro Bedoya are facing blowback for past slams at targets like Fox News, ICE and former President Donald Trump — posing yet another obstacle to Democrats’ policy agenda.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is challenging the Federal Trade Commission’s chairwoman, contending in a series of letters that she is overstepping the agency’s legal authority. The agency says it won’t back down.
Criticized by Republicans, Khan tells agency staffers she aims to build bridges going forward.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned the advertising industry that penalties could be coming for the use of deceptive endorsements. The FTC not only released a notice, but it also sent a letter to hundreds of businesses — advertisers, advertising agencies, and a few media companies — reminding them of the FTC’s concerns about deceptive endorsements in advertising. The letter reminds businesses that violations can lead to fines of up to $43,792 per violation and other penalties.
Andy Parker, the father of WDBJ Roanoke, Va., reporter Alison Parker who was murdered during a morning live shot in 2015, wants the Federal Trade Commission to take action against Facebook for failing to remove online footage of the shooting.
Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has named the permanent heads of the Bureaus of Competition, Holly Vedova, and Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, both of whom had already been in the roles in an acting capacity.
Calling out Facebook and Google, among others, nonprofit watchdog group Accountable Tech has called on the Federal Trade Commission to ban targeted advertising based on user data, or what it calls “surveillance” advertising. That came in a petition for rulemaking filed today (Sept. 28) that asked the FTC to stop the practice of “unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting,” which it calls an example of the unfair competition the agency is charged with preventing.
Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan suggested last week that she plans to devote more resources to the “root causes” of unlawful activity than to prosecuting small-time violators.
Senators urge agency rulemaking on opt-in, protecting children and more.
President Joe Biden will nominate privacy advocate Alvaro Bedoya for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission, an agency facing accusations of lax scrutiny of major tech platforms’ anticompetitive behavior and data practices, according to people familiar with the White House’s plan.
The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday unsealed a host of previously secret material involving Facebook, ranging from information about the company’s monthly users to details about prior acquisitions. Among other newly unsealed allegations, the FTC says more than 200 million people in the U.S. visited Facebook in every month of 2020, while more than 138 million in the country visited Instagram, according to Comscore data.
A group of 34 trade groups, labor unions and consumer activist organizations jointly sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission last week, asking it to block the Amazon’s proposed $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM. “We urge the FTC to block Amazon’s purchase of MGM Studios in order to slow Amazon’s growing dominance,” said the groups, which included The Writers Guild of America West, the Center for Popular Democracy Action and Public Citizen.
The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday filed a revised, and significantly lengthier, antitrust complaint against Facebook, in an attempt to persuade a federal judge to allow the prosecution to proceed. Facebook “unlawfully acquired innovative competitors with popular mobile features that succeeded where Facebook’s own offerings fell flat or fell apart,” the agency stated Thursday in a post summarizing its new complaint.
The Federal Trade Commission this week is expected to lay out its new legal strategy in an ongoing antitrust battle with Facebook that will also reveal how FTC chief Lina Khan plans to take on the market power of U.S. tech giants. The FTC has until Thursday to disclose whether it plans to proceed with the case after a major courtroom setback earlier this year. The agency is largely expected to move forward, and is likely to do so by filing an amended complaint.
Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan took aim at big technology companies in her first appearance before Congress as the agency’s head, saying online digital platforms are partly to blame for a surge in fraud reported by Americans during the pandemic. “Fraud has continued to surge,“ Khan said Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. ”One reason is that fraud today is supercharged by digital platforms where this conduct is tolerated and even promoted.”
A bill introduced Friday would boost the Federal Trade Commission’s authority by empowering the agency to fine companies the first time they commit an unfair or deceptive practice, and to more easily issue regulations. “For too long, the FTC has been hamstrung in its ability to promulgate effective rules of the road for consumers and penalize companies that harm our friends and neighbors,” Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) said Friday when she announced the “21st Century FTC Act.”
Without her vote, the case against Facebook could hit serious roadblocks, splitting the vote 2-2 between Democratic and Republican commissioners.
In an unsurprising but make-or-break development for Amazon’s proposed MGM acquisition, the Federal Trade Commission on Friday opened an “in-depth” investigation of the deal, according to knowledgeable sources.
The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday voted to expand the regulatory agency’s enforcement powers, a signal of Democratic commissioners’ willingness to crack down on alleged anti-competitive behavior. The Democratic-controlled commission voted 3-2 along party lines to repeal a 2015 policy statement that blocked the regulatory agency from challenging “unfair methods of competition” that don’t violate existing antitrust laws.
Amazon formally asked the Federal Trade Commission to block recently appointed agency chair Lina Khan — an outspoken critic of Amazon and other tech giants — from participating in antitrust reviews involving the company because she has shown a demonstrable bias against Amazon. Amazon on Wednesday filed a motion with the FTC requesting Khan’s recusal.
A federal judge’s dismissal of the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook is posing the first big test for President Biden’s new FTC Chair Lina Khan. But the renowned big tech critic faces a serious time crunch, with less than 30 days to try and shift the momentum through a revamped lawsuit.
A federal judge today dismissed the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, concluding that the government failed to establish that the tech platform had a monopoly on social media networks. The judge, James E. Boasberg, still left open the possibility that the government could revive the case by amending its complaint.
Without speaking a word or scratching a pen across paper, President Joe Biden drove up the pressure on Big Tech companies already smarting under federal and congressional investigations, epic antitrust lawsuits and near-constant condemnation from politicians of both parties.
The Federal Trade Commission will be the agency to review Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Hollywood studio MGM, according to people familiar with the matter, just as the commission gets a new chairwoman, Lina Khan, who has been critical of the online giant’s expansion.
The selection of legal scholar Lina Khan to head the Federal Trade Commission is seen as signaling a tough stance toward tech giants Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. Khan was sworn in as FTC chair just hours after the Senate confirmed her as one of five members of the commission on a 69-28 vote.
The Senate has confirmed a fifth commissioner, Lina Khan, to the Federal Trade Commission, so that regulatory body has a Democratic majority — some five months into the Biden administration — though it is still operating under an acting chair, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter.
President Biden still hasn’t named permanent leaders at the key agencies overseeing the tech and telecom industries, giving him a late start on confronting powerful U.S. companies. If Biden doesn’t move quickly, there won’t be enough time left for his administration to take on big targets and tackle thorny policy problems.
In its complaint, filed Wednesday in federal court in California, the FTC said thousands of Frontier Communications customers have complained that the company was not delivering promised speeds. Customers said they couldn’t use the internet service for the online activities they should have been able to.
The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved the nomination of Lina Khan to be a member of the Federal Trade Commission, clearing the way for a vote by the full Senate that would make her, a prominent critic of the tech giants, one of its most powerful regulators. The nomination of Khan, 32, has buoyed progressive hopes that President Biden will try to rein in Silicon Valley.
While antitrust lawsuits and Capitol Hill hearings get headlines, Big Tech’s biggest threat in Washington may come from the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is gearing up to flex its muscle, by both enforcing current rules and trying to draft new ones. And it may be able do so relatively quickly.
The Federal Trade Commission which has historically worked its will through lawsuits and settlements, is flexing its rulemaking muscle. That is because acting FTC Chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter has created a rulemaking group within the Office of General Counsel. Historically, the FTC has used its rulemaking authority primarily to review existing rules, rather than come up with new ones, but that could be about to change.
As expected, President Joe Biden said he will nominate antitrust expert Lina Khan to serve on the Federal Trade Commission. Khan, a professor at Columbia Law School, is among the most prominent critics of Big Tech. In 2017, while still a law student, Khan argued in the Yale Law Journal article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” that antitrust policies should aim to preserve a “competitive process and market structure,” as opposed to just focusing on whether a company’s practices harm consumers in the short term.