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US competition agency reports on technology task force

The US Federal Trade Commission has testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce about its efforts to protect consumers and promote competition. According to the testimony, the FTC’s Bureau of Competition recently announced the creation of a technology task force to more closely monitor competition in the technology sector – it will examine industry practices, conduct law enforcement investigations, and coordinate and consult with staff throughout the FTC on technology related matters, including prospective merger reviews and reviews of consummated technology mergers. To create the task force, the bureau will draw on existing staff and expertise to enhance its focus on technology related sectors of the economy, including markets in which online platforms compete. The creation of this task force is modelled on the FTC’s merger litigation task force, launched in 2002. “The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day,” said FTC chairman Joe Simons. “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. Our ongoing hearings on competition and consumer protection in the 21st century are a crucial step to deepen our understanding of these markets and potential competitive issues. The technology task force is the next step in that effort.” The task force team will include 17 staff attorneys, including those with expertise in complex product and service markets and ecosystems, including markets for online advertising, social networking, mobile operating systems and apps, and platform businesses. The task force will also include a technology fellow. Read more and here.

  • Wednesday, 15 May 2019

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