FTC assembles new task force focused on the tech industry’s anti-competitive practices

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A new government task force has been assembled to monitor anti-competitive behavior in the tech industry. On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that its Bureau of Competition is forming a Technology Task Force dedicated to monitoring competition among the U.S. technology industry. This new task forced will investigate any anti-competitive conduct among the tech market, including online platforms, and have the authority to take enforcement action when necessary. “The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a public statement. “It makes sense for us to closely examine technology markets to ensure consumers benefit from free and fair competition.” SEE ALSO: Facebook's plan to merge Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram raises data privacy concerns The FTC’s Technology Task Force team will consist of approximately 17 staff attorneys as well as other technology experts from within the Bure..

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A new government task force has been assembled to monitor anti-competitive behavior in the tech industry.

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that its Bureau of Competition is forming a Technology Task Force dedicated to monitoring competition among the U.S. technology industry.

This new task forced will investigate any anti-competitive conduct among the tech market, including online platforms, and have the authority to take enforcement action when necessary.

“The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a public statement. “It makes sense for us to closely examine technology markets to ensure consumers benefit from free and fair competition.”

SEE ALSO: Facebook's plan to merge Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram raises data privacy concerns

The FTC’s Technology Task Force team will consist of approximately 17 staff attorneys as well as other technology experts from within the Bureau. They will monitor tech products and services including industries within the online advertising, social media, software and application, and mobile spaces.

Along with exploring industry practices and law enforcement investigations, the task force will review technology mergers, both old and new.

The formation of an antitrust law task force with a focus on the tech industry is well overdo. From Apple’s complete control over the iPhone app market to Facebook’s consolidation of the social media space after its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, consumer and activist groups have long raised the anti-competitive issues within the industry.

Perhaps the most well known violations of antitrust laws within the industry are the anti-poaching agreements that were uncovered involving some of the country’s largest tech companies like Google, Intel, Adobe, and Apple.

“Technology markets, which are rapidly evolving and touch so many other sectors of the economy, raise distinct challenges for antitrust enforcement,” said Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman in the FTC announcement. “The new task force will be able to focus on these markets exclusively, ensuring they are operating pursuant to the antitrust laws, and taking action where they are not.”

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