The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee Alvaro Bedoya to the empty fifth seat on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The 50-50 Senate vote was broken with a tie breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris, and gives Democrats a 3-2 advantage at the FTC. Bedoya, who is professor at Georgetown Law, was previously criticized by Senate Republicans for his past comments on social media and in other outlets opposing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after President Joe Biden announced his nomination. Read More
Amazon and Facebook parent company Meta spent more money in 2021 lobbying lawmakers and officials than any year before, according to lobbying disclosure filings.
Amazon spent $20.3 million on lobbying while Meta spent $20.1 million in 2021, according to a review of lobbying disclosure filings by MarketWatch. The figures are record totals for both tech companies, who spent $18.9 million and $19.7 million on lobbying in 2020, respectively.
Google’s lobbying spend for 2021 clocked in at $11.5 million, while Microsoft spent $10.3 million and Apple spent $6.5 million, according to MarketWatch’s review. Read More
The Biden administration asked China, Japan, South Korea and India to tap into their emergency oil reserves as the president continues to grapple with rising gasoline prices, Reuters reported.
The effort to simultaneously release oil reserves represents a rebuke of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the cartel that controls oil production throughout the Middle East, several anonymous sources familiar with the request told Reuters on Wednesday. OPEC has repeatedly rejected requests from President Joe Biden and other top administration officials to increase oil production amid rising gasoline prices.
The four Asian nations the president appealed to represent some of the largest energy consumers and greenhouse gas emitters, according to a University of Oxford database. Read More
White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued that higher gasoline prices, which critics blame the Biden administration for, highlight the need for a rapid transition to clean energy.
“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demand in the market,” Psaki told reporters during Friday’s press briefing. Read More
A provision in the most recent version of the Democrats’ spending proposal allocates $500 million for a privacy bureau within the Federal Trade Commission, with little guidance on how the money is to be spent.
The bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, appropriates $500 million for fiscal year 2022 to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “create and operate a bureau” tasked with protecting data privacy. Read More
Facebook is being investigated over leaked company documents and allegations by a former employee, according to financial filings.
The company’s 10-Q form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday mentions that Facebook is “subject to government investigations and requests” seemingly related to documents leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen that detail tech giant’s business practices and internal research. Read More
An internal memo published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Thursday detailed Chairwoman Lina Khan’s vision for antitrust enforcement, including plans to target several of Big Tech’s business practices.
The memo, sent to FTC commissioners and staff, titled “Vision and Priorities for the FTC,” outlined several key antitrust enforcement areas Khan sought to prioritize, including addressing “root causes” of monopolies, considering the harm of anticompetitive conduct on workers and other businesses, and focusing on “next-generation technologies.” Although Khan did not identify any of the major tech companies by name, she highlighted several allegedly anti-competitive business practices that have been the subject of tech antitrust litigation. Read More
A business law professor who has been put on paid leave for refusing to wear a mask in class is defending his actions with an unexpected authority: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
“[B]y requiring employees to wear a mask, you are promoting the idea that the mask can prevent or treat a disease, which is an illegal deceptive practice,” David Clements, who teaches consumer law at New Mexico State University (NMSU), told provost Carol Parker in a Sept. 13 letter. Read More
Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters wants to break up Big Tech and ban their business practices he believes are harmful.
“I think Republicans need to reacquaint themselves with their history of antitrust enforcement, and realize huge concentrations of power in private hands can violate people’s liberties just as much as government,” Masters said in an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Masters, who announced his candidacy in July, serves as chief operating officer at investment firm Thiel Capital and runs the Thiel Foundation, a philanthropic organization founded by billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. He competes in a crowded Republican primary with fellow candidate and current Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for the chance to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly in 2022. Read More
There are more than 95,000 farms in Missouri with the Show Me State placing among the nation’s top 10 in terms of beef, chicken and pork production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But consolidation within the meatpacking industry – four firms (JBS, Tyson, Cargill, National Beef) control more than 80% of all the beef slaughtered in the United States – has long frustrated Missouri producers. Read More
With the rise of populist and bipartisan resentment against Big Tech monopolies along with the recent appointment of Big Tech opponent Lina Khan as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, government action against these companies seems imminent. People are waking up to the fact that they have way too much power and are a threat to the American way of life.
As if on cue, prominent conservatives have come to the defense of these monopolies. Most recently, Robert Bork Jr. argued in National Review that breaking up Big Tech would lead to “a slippery slope to the end of capitalism and the rise of political management of the economy.” He agrees with conservatives such as Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who says, “These [anti-monopoly] bills give power to the FTC, the new commissioner we all know is radically left.” Read More
The Federal Trade Commission has been on the march. Over the past month, the Commission has held two “open” meetings, rescinded two major bipartisan agreements by party-line vote, and positioned itself to write regulations for the first time in decades.
In the words of a former commissioner, the current FTC is “Icarus flying without the constraints of history, economics, or law.” He predicts that its “regulatory overreach…will end with the FTC’s wings melting in the courts.” Read More
Facebook filed a petition Wednesday asking for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from the FTC’s antitrust case against the company.
The tech giant argued in the petition that Khan’s public statements, in which she suggested Facebook’s conduct constituted an antitrust offense, violated the company’s due process rights. Read More
Tech giant Amazon recently demanded that the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission be recused from any antitrust investigations into the company, according to the Daily Caller.
Amazon filed the petition with the FTC on Wednesday, accusing Chairwoman Lina Khan of being biased due to the fact that she “has, on numerous occasions, argued that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up.” The petition continued by declaring that “these statements convey to any reasonable observer the clear impression that she has already made up her mind about many material facts relevant to Amazon’s antitrust culpability as well as about the ultimate issue of culpability itself.”
The FTC is already conducting several antitrust investigations, including against Amazon; their most recent efforts are focusing on Amazon’s possible acquisition of the film studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), a purchase of nearly $9 billion announced last month. Read More
The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google for antitrust violations, alleging that it abused its dominance in online search and advertising to stifle competition and harm consumers.
The lawsuit marks the government’s most significant attempt to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. It could be an opening salvo ahead of other major government antitrust actions, given ongoing investigations of major tech companies including Apple, Amazon and Facebook at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. Read More
by Peter Hasson and Chris White Department of Justice investigators who are conducting an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the tech giant manipulates its search function, leaks about the probe and a source familiar with it indicate. Google critics argue that Google… Read More