FTC chief says has 'multiple' investigations of tech platforms

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday that his agency had multiple investigations of tech platforms, in addition to its known probe of Facebook, but did not identify them.

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Big tech companies like Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, Amazon.com and Apple face a slew of antitrust probes by the federal government, state attorneys general and Congress. It has previously been reported that the FTC’s focus was on Facebook and Amazon.com.

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FTC Chair Joe Simons said the agency’s Technology Enforcement Division, or TED, was focusing its probes of multi-sided platforms on illegal conduct and mergers that previously won antitrust approval.

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“We can say publicly that they’re investigating Facebook because Facebook disclosed that,” he told the American Bar Association 2019 Antitrust Fall Forum. “I also want to say that TED has in addition to Facebook, multiple other investigations going on into major platforms.”

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Simons did not say which additional companies he was referencing.

In addition to the FTC probes, the Justice Department and House of Representatives Judiciary Committee are looking into all four big tech companies. At the same time. Dozens of state attorneys general are also investigating Google and Facebook.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Dan Grebler