EPIC to Congress: Consumers Must Be Protected in Merger Reviews
October 18, 2019
In a statement to the House Judiciary Committee, EPIC told lawmakers that merger review should consider data protection. EPIC wrote that "companies that protect user privacy are being absorbed by companies that do not protect privacy." EPIC pointed to the Facebook-WhatsApp deal and the failure of the FTC to protect the personal data of WhatsApp users after the merger. EPIC previously testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about mergers in the online advertising industry after EPIC told the FTC that Google's acquisition of DoubleClick would diminish privacy and stifle innovation. EPIC earlier opposed Doubleclick's acquisition of Abacus, explaining that the deal would lead to increased profiling of American consumers. EPIC, Color of Change, the Open Markets Institute, and others have also urged the FTC to require Facebook to spin-off WhatsApp and Instagram.