New Report on the FTC’s Big Tech Revolving Door Problem

May 23, 2019

A new report from the consumer group Public Citizen finds extensive conflicts of interest at the Federal Trade Commission. According to Public Citizen, most top officials at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) become lawyers and lobbyists for major technology companies after they leave the agency or bring Silicon Valley conflicts with them when they arrive. These conflicts help explain the FTC's chronic reluctance to enforce consumer protection and antitrust laws, said Public Citizen. EPIC previously urged the FTC to block anticompetitive mergers, such as Google's acquisition of DoubleClick and Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp, as well as to enforce the pending consent order against Facebook that EPIC helped establish in 2011. EPIC even sued the FTC when the consumer agency failed to enforce the consent order against Google, following the Buzz consent order. As of today, 423 days have passed since the FTC announced in March 2018 that it would reopen the investigation of Facebook. But still there is no fine, no report, and no update.

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