Case Against Facebook Heightens Need For Independent Executive Branch

WASHINGTON – Today the Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 state attorneys general filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook. This follows the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google,…

WASHINGTON – Today the Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 state attorneys general filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook. This follows the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google, which was filed in October.

The following may be attributed to David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress, and Jeff Hauser, Executive Director of the Revolving Door Project:
 

“We applaud today’s filing of lawsuits that aim to unwind Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Instagram, which have reduced competition in the social media, online advertising, and messaging spaces. These acquisitions and other anticompetitive activities have allowed Facebook to wield too much power over the social internet, online discourse, and our broader society. Authorities never should have allowed these mergers, nor Facebook’s other anti-competitive conduct, but a revolving door between regulators and industry helped create a culture of non-enforcement that has lasted for decades. The effects of this revolving door extend far beyond Facebook, or even Big Tech — they can be seen in our highly concentrated agricultural sector, airline sector, financial sector, and more.

We are glad that advocates and authorities across the country have begun to recognize the democratic imperative of ending concentrated economic power. In the case of Big Tech firms like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, the power they wield over the internet, the economy, our government, and broader society has had an incalculable impact. 

The Biden administration must make it clear that it also understands the dangers posed by concentrated corporate power, and the harms caused by Facebook and other monopolistic firms. Biden must ensure that the cases against both Google and Facebook will continue under his presidency, and that his administration shall pursue a vigorous anti-monopoly policy across all economic sectors. The first step to building trust on this issue will be for Biden to keep top executives, lobbyists, and consultants for Big Tech and other corporations out of his administration.”

A number of people with close ties to Big Tech have already been announced for top posts, and others are under consideration. These include, non-exhaustively:

  • Louisa Terrell, former Director of Public Policy at Facebook, who will serve as White House director of legislative affairs.
     
  • Jessica Hertz, a former associate general counsel at Facebook, who is the general counsel for Biden’s transition team.
     
  • David Roth and Arrow Augerot, top lobbyists at Amazon, are reportedly under consideration for key posts in the US Trade Representative’s office.
     
  • Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who is rumored to be under consideration for a variety of posts.
     
  • Apple’s lobbying chief Cynthia Hogan, who is rumored to be under consideration for a variety of posts.

This post was originally published on Radio Free.


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