FTC puts smaller tech deals under microscope - Mobile World Live

FTC puts smaller tech deals under microscope

12 FEB 2020

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) increased pressure on major technology companies, ordering Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft to share detailed information about small-scale acquisitions completed in the last decade.

Specifically, the FTC is seeking information about deals conducted between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2019 which did not require approval from federal regulators.

In addition to corporate acquisitions strategies and personnel arrangements, it noted the tech giants will be required to disclose details related to post-acquisition product development and pricing, including the integration of assets and treatment of data bought.

The Commission said it aimed to “deepen its understanding of large technology” companies’ purchase activity, and determine whether they “are making potentially anticompetitive acquisitions of nascent or potential competitors” which fall below the threshold for federal review.

FTC chairman Joseph Simons said in a statement: “This will help us continue to keep tech markets open and competitive, for the benefit of consumers.”

The move marks an expansion in FTC scrutiny of technology companies’ competitive practices initiated in 2019. At the time, Simons warned the agency was willing to unwind previous deals on competition grounds.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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