The Federal Trade Commission's Competition Bureau announced the creation of a working group dedicated to monitoring competition in US technology markets, investigating potential competitive behavior in these markets, and taking enforcement action when justified.
Creating the Technology Process Force, the Competition Authority will draw on existing staff and expertise to strengthen the President's focus on technology-related sectors of the economy, including markets where online platforms compete. The creation of this workforce is modeled on the FTC's successful collaborative workgroup, launched in 2002 by the da office of competition director Joe Simons. The workforce in 2002 revived the Commission's Hospital Merger Assessment Program, and also strengthened the agency's focus on retail merger enforcement, especially with regard to food, beverages and supermarkets.
"The role of technology in the economy and in our lives becomes more important every day," said FTC chairman Joe Simons in a statement. "As I have mentioned earlier, it makes sense for us to carefully examine technology markets to ensure that consumers benefit from free and fair competition. Our ongoing 21
The new workgroup will include approximately 17 employee lawyers. Task Force members, who will join the workforce of divisions within the bureau, will include lawyers with unique expertise in complex product and service markets and ecosystems, including online advertising markets. social network, mobile operating systems and applications and platform activities. The task force will also include a technological fellow, who will provide important technical assistance and expertise to support the task's investigations.
The new workforce will be led by Patricia Galvan, currently assistant director in the merger The III department, and Krisha Cerilli, currently advisor to the director Task management will be overseen by Director Bruce Hoffman, Deputy Prime Minister Gail Levine, and Assistant Director of Digital Markets Daniel Francis Technical team will work closely with economists from the FTC's Bureau of Economics. addition will work The group members coordinate with their counterparts in the FTC Consumer Protection Agency, which also focuses on technology platforms.
"Technology markets, which are evolving rapidly and affecting so many other sectors of the economy, present distinct challenges to antitrust enforcement," said Bureau Director Bruce Hoffman in a statement. "By centralizing our expertise and attention, the new workforce will only be able to focus on these markets – ensuring they operate under the antitrust law, and taking action where they are not."
In addition to investigating industrial practices and conducting law enforcement investigations, the Technical Task Force will, among other things, coordinate and consult employees across the FTC on technology related issues, including prospective technology sector merger evaluations and assessments of completed technology mergers.
Source: US Federal Trade Commission
MacDailyNews Take: Online advertising has suffered from antitrust problems for many years, so hopefully it will really be looked at and something meaningful will finally be made to restore true competition. Unfortunately, we wouldn't bet on the ranch on what's happening.
When it comes to "mobile operating systems and apps," it will be interesting for Alphabet since they have already been fined a record $ 5.1 billion by the EU Commission because Google:
• has required manufacturers to pre-install Google Search app and browser application (Chrome) as a condition for licensing Google's app store (Play Store);
• made payments to some major manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they only pre-installed the Google Search app on their devices; and
have prevented manufacturers wishing to pre-install Google apps from selling yet another smart mobile device running on alternative versions of Android that were not approved by Google (so-called "Android Forks").
Google clearly violated EU antitrust rules as follows:
• Illegal binding of Google's search and browser programs
• Illegal disbursement subject to exclusive Google Search pre-installation
• Illegal hindrance to the development and distribution of competing Android Operating Systems  We see what the US FTC is up to there. We do not hold our collective breath at this point either.
Why Google owes the EU $ 5 billion – July 18, 2018
EU hits Google with record € 4.34 billion fine to abuse market dominance – July 18, 2018