FTC to Investigate Prior Big Tech Acquisitions
February 12, 2020
The FTC announced plans to review acquisitions by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft between 2010-2019. The FTC will review those acquisitions that the companies were not required by law to report at the time of acquisition. FTC Chairman Joe Simons said the initiative would "evaluate whether the federal agencies are getting adequate notice of transactions that might harm competition." In a joint statement, Commissioner Wilson and Commissioner Chopra said, "While we commend the FTC for exploring this timely and important topic, we reiterate our call for the Commission to prioritize 6(b) studies that explore consumer protection issues arising from the privacy and data security practices of technology companies, including social media platforms." EPIC filed a complaint with the FTC in 2014 opposing Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp. EPIC is presently in federal court seeking to improve the FTC's proposed settlement with Facebook and to unwind the merger.