Items tagged "FTC"

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FTC Should Continue to Fight for Lower Consumer Prices in Qualcomm Lawsuit

April 18, 2019 Apple , Competition , FTC , Patent Reform , Patents

Back in November, Public Knowledge and Open Markets Institute argued to the International Trade Commission that it would violate the public interest to grant Qualcomm’s request to ban iPhones that used Intel baseband technology from the U.S. market. We wrote then,

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Ideas for Further Analysis Based on Senator Warren’s Platform Regulation Proposal

March 11, 2019 Charlotte Slaiman , DOJ , FCC , FTC , Platform Competition , Platform Regulation

On Friday, I was heartened to see Senator Elizabeth Warren enter the digital platform competition debate in a big way. Her proposal has already generated a ton of great conversation about how digital platforms ought to be regulated. The agenda-setting role of presidential candidates is significant, and I’m so glad this important topic is on the agenda now. The proposal includes more wonky detail than many campaign proposals, though of course, it is not fully drafted legislation. I want to take this opportunity to discuss the proposal in depth and think about how policymakers can move forward from here. Congress should start now on providing the additional analysis that is generally needed before any specific action is taken.

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Consumer Privacy Before Congress This Week: What We Learned and What’s Next

February 28, 2019 Consumer Privacy , Data Protection , FTC , Legislation , Privacy

This week featured back-to-back privacy hearings on Capitol Hill to discuss principles for federal privacy legislation. With the one-year anniversary of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation implementation coming in May and the California Consumer Privacy Act taking effect in 2020, industry players that have fiercely lobbied against federal privacy legislation in years past are now suddenly calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive privacy bill this year. Here’s a quick look at what happened in each hearing and a few key takeaways.

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To Make the Tech Sector Competitive, Antitrust Is Only Half the Answer

February 22, 2019 Antitrust , Competition , Competition Policy , FTC , Platform Regulation

It seems antitrust is finally having a new moment in the sun. From Attorney General Nominee Bill Barr to Senator Amy Klobuchar, to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to and even President Trump, everyone is talking about antitrust in the context of Internet platforms. While antitrust is a powerful tool and essential to the proper functioning of the economy, antitrust alone cannot eliminate the full array of harms caused by highly concentrated markets. The excessive market concentration and corporate power we see today resulted not only from conservative jurisprudence and lax antitrust enforcement but also excessive deregulation. Antitrust is not sufficient to rectify the very real problems reform advocates identify.

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A Real Remedy the FTC Should Demand of Facebook

December 20, 2018 Antitrust , Charlotte Slaiman , Data Protection , FTC , Platform Competition , Privacy

It seems almost every week there are new revelations about Facebook’s data use and sharing policies. The Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating Facebook for a potential consent decree violation related to the release of user data to Cambridge Analytica. The new allegations of data misuse in the New York Times this week may also be a violation of the consent decree. They are at least worthy of FTC investigation. And the cache of previously sealed litigation documents published by a British Member of Parliament earlier this month seem to indicate that Facebook may have been strategically withholding this valuable data from “strategic competitors” such as upstart Vine. Taken together, the two stories paint a frightening picture. Was Facebook granting access to private user data to cement its market position, offering it up to the powerful and wielding it as a cudgel against potential competitors? At the close of the current investigation, the FTC should demand remedies that protect users’ privacy while encouraging competition on the Facebook platform and against Facebook itself.

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The Case for Agency Authority

December 20, 2018 Congress , FCC , FTC

One of the first lessons I learned as an advocate at Public Knowledge? “Regulation” and “rulemaking authority” are dirty words in too many parts of Capitol Hill. This is perhaps unsurprising to people who have worked on tech and telecom policy longer than I have. Or, for that matter, to people who work on environmental policy or any number of other issues. Nonetheless, this is my case for why I am pro-agency rulemaking authority, and you should be too.

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Time for the FTC to Study Data and Labor Market Competition Issues

September 13, 2018 Antitrust , Charlotte Slaiman , Competition , Competition Policy , FTC , Platform Competition

The Federal Trade Commission is hosting a series of historic public hearings on the future of antitrust law that begin today. Gene Kimmelman, the President of Public Knowledge, is participating in the hearings. To continue these efforts to examine developments in competition throughout the economy, the FTC should launch two important studies to examine: 1) the impact of big data on platform power, and 2) the impact of consolidation on America’s workers. Americans are concerned about competition, but we don’t have the information we need in order to know whether it is stronger agency enforcement or possibly other policy tools that are needed to address these concerns.

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The FTC Must Be Empowered to Protect Our Privacy

June 18, 2018 Cybersecurity , Data Protection , FTC , Legislation , Privacy

Back in 2011, the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Facebook deceived consumers by failing to keep its promises to protect user privacy. The two parties agreed to settle the charges through something called an “agreement containing consent order.” The Commission also signed a consent agreement with Google that same year. The FTC issued a final Decision and Consent Order regarding the Facebook allegations in 2012. (A consent order is an FTC enforcement tool that operates like a legal settlement.) Without admitting to the complaint’s counts, the parties involved signed a document that basically says, “we both agree to enter this agreement to resolve the allegations in the complaint, so now you have to do the following things, and if you fail to do any of them, the FTC is going to impose financial penalties.”

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No, the FTC CANNOT Have a Ban on All ISP Blocking

December 12, 2017 FCC , FTC , Net Neutrality , Title II

In my last post, took the four most famous net neutrality violations to see how they would come out under the current rules adopted in 2015 v. how they would come out under the regulatory framework following the Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality rules, based on the draft Order. To condense the approximately 5500-word analysis: all four incidents are addressable under the 2015 rules. None of the incidents are addressable under the combined Federal Trade Commission and antitrust regime that remains after the vote to repeal the rules, with the exception of Comcast’s deliberate deception about their blocking peer-2-peer protocols in 2007-08.

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Line-by-line, We Corrected the Record on Broadband Privacy and Net Neutrality

April 11, 2017 Broadband Privacy , FCC , FTC , Net Neutrality , Transparency

Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen co-wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post entitled “No, Republicans didn’t just strip away your Internet privacy rights.” The team at Public Knowledge was troubled by the misinformation laid out in this op-ed. Issues like broadband privacy and net neutrality have serious long-term consequences, so we felt it was important to correct the record.

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