UPDATED 7:17 AM PT — Wednesday, August 14, 2019
The head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says he is ready to start poking holes in Facebook and other Big Tech companies. In an interview with Bloomberg Tuesday, chairman Joe Simons said he is leading an operation to restore competition in the sector. This would happen by reigning in dominant websites and leveling the online “playing field.” Simons told reporters, “it’s not ideal because it’s very messy, but if you have to — you have to.”
His comments come as the FTC continues to probe anti-competitive practices among sites such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple. So far, Google has received sharp criticism for favoring its own products in search results, while Facebook allegedly copied Snapchat’s “story” function.
While consumers may not yet feel the pinch of the success of these major platforms, separating the platform from the competing parts may give more small businesses the chance to get going. A drop off in new online startups may eventually effect price, variety, and availability of products.
The Department of Justice argued a similar case in 2018 when AT&T announced plans to purchase Time Warner. The department sued the phone carrier, suggesting the purchase was incited by the ability to raise its rival’s cost and stifle growth of younger media companies trying to enter the market.
“It’s for everybody, we can not allow Big Tech to censor American voices,” stated President Trump.
The Trump administration’s anti-trust division continues to oppose the merger, which has given the content provider extraordinary leverage over it’s producer.