Federal Trade Commission
Google and its subsidiary YouTube will pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a complaint charging Broadcom with illegally monopolizing markets for semiconductor components used to deliver television and broadband internet services through exclusive dealing and related conduct.
The Federal Trade Commission passed a pair of pivotal measures expanding its power to regulate anti-competitive business practices, setting the stage for a more aggressive enforcement approach from the embattled agency. In the most aggressive effort, the commission voted to rescind a 2015 “Statement of Enforcement Principles” that restricted the FTC Act’s prescriptions on “unfair methods of competition” to explicit violations of existing antitrust law (specifically the Sherman and Clayton Acts). The vote proceeded along party lines, passing 3-2 with Democrats in the majority.
The Senate confirmed Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission, elevating one of the tech industry’s most prominent antitrust critics to the government’s top Silicon Valley watchdog. The vote was 69-28 in a Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, signaling the growing bipartisan interest in reining in large tech companies’ power. It came just days after House lawmakers from both parties unveiled bills that could force Silicon Valley companies to change their business practices and in the most severe cases, break up the companies.
The Federal Trade Commission, along with law enforcement agencies from six states, sued Internet service provider Frontier Communications, alleging that the company did not provide many consumers with Internet service at the speeds it promised them, and charged many of them for more expensive and higher-speed service than Frontier actually provided. In a complaint, the FTC and its state partners allege that Frontier advertised and sold Internet service in several plans, or tiers, based on download speed.
The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on topics related to the use of digital “dark patterns,” a range of potentially deceptive or unfair user interface designs used on websites and mobile apps, that will be discussed at the agency’s April 29, 2021 workshop. The FTC is seeking comment on several topics that will be discussed at the workshop, Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop, including: