connectVideoFTC allegedly for the planning of the record-setting’ fine on Facebook for mishandling user data
Brett Larson reports on what the future has in store for the social media giant.
In a sign of the level of scrutiny faced by Major Tech companies like Facebook and Google, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a new heavily staffed task force to monitor the competition, and to consider possible infringements of the antitrust rules in the US technology markets.
The task force, which have the power to review the coming and already consummated mergers in the industry, is set to be manned by at least 17 lawyers — most of them with expertise in the markets for online advertising, social networking, mobile operating systems and apps, and the platform companies.
“The role of technology in the economy and in our lives more and more important every day,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a statement on Tuesday. “As I have already noted in the past, it makes sense for us to carefully examine whether the technology markets to ensure that consumers have a free and fair competition.”
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The new task force is another signal of the growing fatigue among the legislators and the daily users of the enormous power of the technology companies and whether they have used that power to crush the competitors, violating the privacy of users, or otherwise harm consumers.
A coalition of consumer advocacy groups last week urged the FTC to measure whether or not Facebook violated the rights of children with unfair and deceptive trade practices. And earlier this month, a large U. K. report on the fake news hit Facebook and its leadership as “digital gangsters.”
“Technology markets, which are rapidly evolving, and touch so many other sectors of the economy, to raise different challenges for the enforcement of the competition rules,” Bureau Director Bruce Hoffman said in a statement. “By centralizing our expertise and attention, the new task force will focus on these markets exclusively, to ensure that they are operating on the basis of the antitrust laws, and taking action where they are not.”
Mark Zuckerberg, ceo and founder of Facebook, is shown above.
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The FTC, which has been criticised in the past are not doing enough to rein in Big Tech, reportedly weighed in an attempt to block the Facebook purchase of Instagram for more than six years ago.
When, however, Instagram had no revenue, and since the antitrust laws tend to have equal market share in the revenue that, with respect to the FTC board may not succeed in blocking the merger.
According to The New York Post, the FTC a document from a high-ranking Facebook executive say that the only reason that the social network was the purchase of Instagram was to prevent a potential competitor. “It was a spectacular document,” a source told The New York Post.
The FTC finally approved Facebook acquisition of Instagram, which now has a billion monthly active users, and is described by Axios as a “commitment ” powerhouse” for the tech giant.
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However, the new task force would reportedly force Facebook or Google to relax mergers if it finds “competition.”
Last week, the Electronic Privacy Information Center called on the FTC to force Google to divest its Nest business after a series of privacy flaps involving the microphones in the devices that consumers are not aware of. Earlier this year, in France fined Google $57 million for violating the EU’s General data protection Regulation. The search giant was fined $5 billion in July 2018 by the EU antitrust behavior with respect to the Android operating system.
Task force members will also coordinate with their colleagues in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection who work on these issues.
The FTC is considering a fine of up to $5 billion for Facebook’s privacy violations, including the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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Facebook declined to comment when reached by Fox News. Google did not respond to a request for comment.