Facebook asks recusal of FTC head in antitrust case decision – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-07-14 22:40:00 –

Washington >> Facebook wants the new Federal Trade Commission chairman to move away from deciding whether to continue government antitrust proceedings against social network giants, past the company’s market power Her public criticism is fair.

Facebook Inc. today urged the agency not to include Chair Lina Khan in the FTC’s antitrust decision against the company. A federal judge recently dismissed a proceeding from the FTC and the State Coalition for failing to provide sufficient evidence to prove that Facebook is monopolistic in the social networking market. However, the judge allowed the FTC to correct the complaint and try again.

Kahn has been constantly criticizing Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook.

FTC officials declined to comment on Facebook’s move two weeks after Amazon demanded that Kahn be excluded from the company’s antitrust investigation. The agency may be expected to formally respond at some point. Kahn said he would seek the opinion of the FTC Ethics Monitor in the event of a potential conflict of interest issue.

In this case, it is unclear how the internal FTC rules for conflicts of interest will be interpreted. However, ethics expert Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University, said, “The fact that (Khan) has a view and expresses it powerfully is not grounds for repulsion.” Said. ..

In its petition, Facebook quoted a federal court ruling in 1966 that it was disqualified from proceeding in a proceeding against the defendant company. This is because he had previously investigated many of the same facts about the company as an aide to Congress.

As an advisor to the Antitrust Law Committee of the House Judiciary Committee in 2019 and 2020, Kahn played a key role in the extensive bipartisan investigation of market power of high-tech giants, including Facebook.

In the 1966 case, then-FTC chairman Paul Rand Dixon may have had access to relevant information through work in Congress. For Khan, who was likely to have helped prepare the House Commission’s report on the investigation, the question was whether she herself revealed facts about Facebook in doing so, and her current situation. He said his role would be to determine if those facts were true. In other words, does she judge the accuracy of her previous job?

If Kahn resigns, the FTC’s current three Democrats and two Republicans could be out of balance and Facebook’s proceedings decision could be stalled 2 to 2. Two Republican members voted against filing a Facebook proceeding last year.

Requests from Facebook and Amazon have exposed four tech giants to extreme scrutiny and legislative pressure from the FTC, the Justice Department, European regulators, Washington lawmakers, and more recently an executive order from the White House. It is issued when you are.

“If the new commissioner has already drawn facts and legal conclusions and considers the target a violator of the law, due process requires withdrawing from relevant matters when acting as an FTC commissioner,” Facebook said. It is stated in the petition. “Chairman Kahn has not only condemned Facebook’s disapproval, but has specifically expressed her belief that it meets antitrust elements.”

President Joe Biden recently appointed Kahn as one of the five members and head of the FTC, demonstrating a strict stance on Big Tech and its market power. At the age of 32, she is the youngest chair in agency history, overseeing competition, consumer protection, and digital privacy across the industry.

Facebook said it demanded that the agency’s antitrust procedure “protect fairness and impartiality.” In a statement, the company said, “Chairman Kahn has consistently made a well-documented statement on Facebook and antitrust law, and rational observers have filed Facebook antitrust proceedings filed by the FTC. You will conclude that you have taken the lead. “

Biden’s radical executive order on competition in the US industry, issued Friday, includes a new policy of scrutiny by the proposed merger regulators, especially the dominant Internet companies. Huge tech companies have been shaken by antitrust enforcers in both Republican and Democratic governments and have swooped their competitors in hundreds of mergers in recent years.

The new directive also calls on the FTC to establish new rules regarding tech giant surveillance and user data storage. In addition, agencies are required to develop rules that prohibit unfair practices against competitors in online marketplaces.

Last month, a major House committee approved an ambitious law that could curb market power on Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple and force them to separate their dominant platform from other businesses. Was sent to the US House of Representatives. Facebook-critical lawmakers and other lawmakers have listed the popular Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services as potential candidates for disconnection from the core platform.

Facebook asks recusal of FTC head in antitrust case decision Source link Facebook asks recusal of FTC head in antitrust case decision

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