FTC demands acquisition data worth nine years from big tech companies

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
February 13, 2020, 1:17 AM UTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to review “hundreds” of transactions.

As per a recent announcement by the agency, the FTC is investigating non-reportable acquisitions across 1 Jan 2010 - 31 Dec 2019 made by Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft. In the context of this review, acquisitions would also include obtained data, licensing and ability of a company to make an appointment on another company’s board.

Until now, as per the Hart–Scott–Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR), companies weren’t bound to report some acquisitions to the FTC or the Department of Justice. And so, the FTC is looking to find why some acquisitions went unreported and whether they’re “problematic”.

The enquiry could ultimately lead to “unwinding” of past acquisitions. FTC chairman Joe Simons clarifies that the investigation is separate from current anti-trust investigations.   

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