FTC Gets Jurisdiction for Facebook Antitrust Probe

Facebook is the public square. It is how we communicate. And yet here I am, again, in Facebook jail for 30 days (for the third time this year). The Facebook speech police should be insuring our first amendment rights, not crushing them. Never has so much power been in the hands of so few.

Related: Why I Am Suing Facebook

FTC GETS JURISDICTION FOR POSSIBLE FACEBOOK ANTITRUST PROBE

The Federal Trade Commission already has been investigating Facebook for privacy violations

Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2019:

WASHINGTON—The Federal Trade Commission will lead any antitrust investigation into Facebook Inc. FB -8.72% under an arrangement that gives the Justice Department chief oversight of Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG -7.05%Google, as the U.S. government gears up for scrutiny of the country’s major tech companies over competition concerns.

The FTC secured the rights to begin a potential investigation of Facebook and whether it has engaged in unlawful monopolistic practices as part of an agreement that allowed the Justice Department to take the reins in a Google probe, according to people familiar with the matter. The FTC and Justice Department share authority in enforcing U.S. antitrust law and at times must work out turf arrangements regarding which agency will handle what issues.

FTC already has spent more than a year investigating Facebook on privacy issues related to how it handles users’ data. That probe, however, doesn’tfocus on antitrust questions on whether Facebook is stifling competition in the digital realm. The fact that the commission formally secured jurisdiction on those issues suggests it is considering even more rigorous scrutiny of the social media giant.

It isn’t known if the FTC has near-term plans to launch a formal antitrust investigation of Facebook. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the Justice Department is gearing up for an antitrust probe of Google.

The divvying up of Big Tech jurisdiction is part of how the government’s antitrust enforcers are going to explore cutting-edge issues related to how a handful of Silicon Valley giants are affecting the competitive landscape

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