FTC launching task force to monitor technology markets

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has created a task force dedicated to monitoring competition in U.S. technology markets, investigating any potential anticompetitive conduct in those markets, and taking enforcement actions when warranted, the organization said in a statement earlier this week.

To create the Technology Task Force, the Bureau of Competition within FTC  will draw upon existing staff and expertise to focus on technology-related sectors of the economy, including markets in which online platforms compete.

The creation of this task force is modeled on the FTC’s successful Merger Litigation Task Force, launched in 2002 by then-Bureau of Competition director Joe Simons, says FTC.

“The role of technology in the economy and in our lives grows more important every day,” said FTC chairman Joe Simons. “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.”

The new task force team will include approximately 17 staff attorneys. The task force will also include a Technology Fellow, who the FTC says, will provide technical assistance and expertise.

The task force will be led by Patricia Galvan, currently the deputy assistant director of the Mergers III Division, and Krisha Cerilli, currently counsel to the Director. The task force will be overseen by director Bruce Hoffman, deputy director Gail Levine, and associate director for Digital Markets, Daniel Francis.

In addition to examining industry practices and conducting law enforcement investigations, the Technology Task Force will, among other things, coordinate and consult with staff throughout the FTC on technology-related matters, including prospective merger reviews in the technology sector and reviews of consummated technology mergers, says the commission.

[Image courtesy: FTC]

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