WASHINGTON – The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that it has ordered Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google’s parent companies and Microsoft to return information about past acquisitions, expanding energy review of major technology companies.
FTC He said it sought information on hundreds of small businesses conducted by five tech companies over the past decade that were not required by law to report to regulators and could provide insights into antitrust investigations. Facebook, Google (whose parent company is Alphabet) and others have built dozens of small tech companies over the years, most of them for $ 1 million.
“If during this study, we find that transactions were problematic, all our options are on the table and it is assumed that we can begin to enforce these agreements,” said Joseph J. Simmons, FTC. Chairman, in a call with reporters. He also added that orders for information were separate from the FTC’s continued mistrust investigation into major technology companies but could inform interrogators.
These measures have increased the investigation of the country’s largest technology companies in Washington. The Justice Department, Congress and the State Attorney General are also examining whether Apple, Amazon, and others have acted in an opposing way in various other fields. In the rare show of bilateralism, lawyers have become united around this topic.
By examining even smaller deals, the FTC Hinted that it was specifically a technology industry practice known as “killer acquisition,” which was said to have been used by rivals by special rivals, saying the competition. Under that strategy, larger technology companies buy a newborn competitor to protect their dominance and prevent smaller companies from becoming a greater threat.
“The concern was hundreds of acquisitions by big companies like Facebook and Google that could end companies that could change the paradigm of key competitors and inventors,” said Douglas Malamd, a Stanford law school student. Professor and former Unreliable Officer of the Justice Department
FTC There have been similar claims for information from the pharmaceutical and retail industries about how companies use pricing and advertising strategies, for example, to harm consumers. But the request for information on technology integration in the past was the first for the Silicon Valley Giants.
Notably, the F.T.C. It also announced in the announcement that it wanted information from Microsoft. Inspired by regulators Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google since last year, Microsoft – who has fought and settled an antitrust lawsuit in the late sixties – was released from much of the current backlash.
Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google have not agreed to comment. A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company “is looking forward to working with the FTC. To answer their questions.” Can file a motion to dismiss its request.
“Google did not discover YouTube. Facebook did not discover Instagram. And the list goes on, “says Rohit Chopra, an FTC. The commissioner and a Democrat stated in a tweet that mentioned past acquisitions of Google and Facebook. “That’s why I voted for @ Google, @ Facebook, @ Amazon, @Apple, and @ Microsoft to hand over a decade of records about their purchase hesitation.”
FTC Its requests can generate huge amounts of information.
In this Sample order Posted by the agency, it asked for internal documents related to the contract – analysis presented by top executives and minutes of board meetings where acquisition was discussed, including specific purchases “acquisition of data” and which venture capitalists and angel investors took risks at small firms. By asking questions about Shot.
FTC His announcement also said that it would “look at contracts to take key staff from other agencies.” Silicon Valley companies are known to buy other, smaller companies as a way to bring in core talent – a practice known as “avi-hiring”. “
The announcement immediately put a shake on the stocks of the big tech companies. The tech-heavy Nasdaq compound dropped its gains Tuesday, though it is in positive territory. Facebook and Microsoft were particularly hard hits.
In a statement, Representative David Cicillin, a Rhode Island Democrat who is leading the House Judiciary Committee’s tech giants investigation, said the FTC’s order was “an important step in improving the decades-long inactivity led by untrustworthy enforcement agencies in the digital marketplace.”
Last month, executives from smaller companies like Sonos and PopSockets informed members of the House committee that tech behemoths like Google and Amazon had hurt their business.
The Justice Department plans to hold multiple public talks this week with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. The event’s panels will focus on the so-called keel regions – when a company dominates, trying to start a competing company, Akejo – and investing in markets that are under large Internet platforms.
Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a progressive think tank, says regulators have addressed issues facing a wide range of technology companies.
“Except for the Greater Trust in the late 1900s, I don’t think antitrust enforcement had to deal with strategic incentives for M OAs like technologies and platforms,” he said.