The Federal Trade Commission has a new task force to investigate tech monopolies in the USA. This task force is aimed at promoting healthy competition in the tech industry and enforcing antitrust law more effectively.
This task force comprises of current officials working in the agency’s Bureau of Competition that will look into the tech monopolies alongside seventeen staff attorneys who will be looking into anti-competitive behavior in the tech industry.
“The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day. As I’ve noted in the past, it makes sense for us to closely examine technology markets to ensure consumers benefit from free and fair competition,” said the bureau’s chairman Joe Simmons.
The Bureau’s Director Bruce Hoffman said that they are focusing on investigating consummated mergers and plan on splitting them for promoting a competitive atmosphere in the tech industry. While there has not been any public disclosure of the companies being investigated, many think that Facebook is in trouble.
In recent times, there has arguably been a rise of monopolies in the tech industry. Companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon have held monopolies in different areas of the market.
The chief contributors to monopolies are mergers; because a single big player ends up buying out all its competition to continue holding a monopoly in the market.
Due to this, there has been a lack of healthy competition in the tech industry; also, monopolies like this pose a great threat to the enforcement of anti-trust laws. Anti-trust laws for businesses and organizations promote fair competition and help the consumer benefit from healthy competition.
It was reported that FTC decided to levy a heavy fine on Facebook for violating a privacy agreement made in 2011 between both the entities. However, the advocacy groups think that a fine will not suffice and are advising the task force to break down the merger of Instagram and WhatsApp with Facebook.
This task force aims to promote fair and free competition and will focus solely on mergers and acquisitions but not data or privacy violations.