Tech

Antitrust Enforcers Drowning In Mergers

With the help of Leah Nylen

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— Merger overload: The number of mergers that the FTC and DOJ have to consider doubled in 2021, and authorities are struggling to catch up.

— COPPA check-in: House Democrats wrote to six privacy compliance organizations asking how to comply with the self-regulatory guidelines associated with the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Act.

— FCC Draft Rule: The Federal Communications Commission has released a rule-making bill detailing how to implement an affordable connectivity program that received $ 14.2 billion in the infrastructure bill.

Happy Monday. Rebecca Kern, POLITICO’s latest technology policy reporter, heads MorningTec this week. This is my first MT rodeo, so please send me lots of scoops and tips. @Rebeccamkern Or by email [email protected]..

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Also, Drum Rolls: Everyone, we have some exciting news! Brendan Bolderon I will be attending POLITICO on January 25th as the author of the MorningTec newsletter. He will dive into a new technological debate that will reshape the industry. Brendan joined us after addressing technology policy in the National Journal and Morning Consult. Welcome him a big POLITICO!

First in MT: Like a merged tsunami — The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have warned for months that the surge in merger applications has been thinning them. In 2021, the company reported 4,130 mergers to the two agencies, according to an analysis by law firm White & Case. This is more than double the number of the previous year. In December alone, companies reported 285 mergers, lowering the December figures since 2011 (although December often surges as companies are trying to close transactions by the end of the calendar year. ).

The flood of transactions has forced agencies to focus on more. Of the resources they are already lacking. FTC, for example, has transferred some lawyers focused on policy and international affairs to assist in the review of mergers. Under the law, the FTC and DOJ have only 30 days to decide whether a transaction justifies more detailed investigation, additional time pressure.

Plea of ​​funds: Neither agency responded to a request for comment from MT on how the wave of mergers affected their business. Both the Justice Department and FTC have demanded more money from Congress, especially after expectations for a $ 500 million increase in institutions died along with the Democratic Party’s remaining social spending bill. The text of the bill by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) And Chuck ernest grassley (R-Iowa) Passed by the Senate to increase the money government agencies receive from merger applications U.S. Innovation and Competition Law, But the house hasn’t acted on it yet.

FCC Announces Affordable Broadband Rules — FCC Chair Jessica Rosenwessel Announces Draft Rule creation For an affordable connectivity program of $ 14.2 billion on Friday, based on the infrastructure bill directive signed by the law in mid-November. The program provides eligible households with broadband service credits of up to $ 30 per month and households living on tribal lands up to $ 75 per month. It also provides households with a one-time payment of $ 100 for a computer or tablet. Rosenwessel needs to get the support of at least two FCC members for the rules to be finally adopted. Also, given the committee’s two-to-two partisanship, one of these votes must come from the Republican Party.

The draft rule describes how to use the additional $ 14.2 billion provided by the Infrastructure Bill to move temporary Covid era initiatives to longer-term broadband affordable programs.

This rule establishes household eligibility requirements, adopts consumer protection rules, and establishes consent requirements to help households already enrolled in broadband subsidies move to the new program. To date, the FCC has helped approximately 90,000 households enroll in new affordable programs, with more than 9 million households migrating from the temporary version.

– Separately, National Telecommunications and Information Administration Ask for public comments With $ 48.2 billion allocated to the infrastructure bill, we will deploy broadband to underserved and underserved people.

First in MT: Democratic Question Coppa Execution — manager Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commercial Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) Will handle data under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 with six privacy compliance organizations (BBB National Programs, Entertainment Software Rating Board, iKeepSafe, kidSAFE, Privacy Vaults Online, TrustArc) on Friday. I am writing about.

— These organizations operate under FTC “Safe Harbor” programThat is, once approved by the FTC, businesses are allowed to draft guidelines that can be used to implement the children’s privacy protection required by COPPA. Former FTC Commissioner Rohit Copra criticized these organizations, saying that FTC and Congress need to do more to oversee them.

– of Their letter, Congressman asked Organizations are concerned about how safe port programs require “substantially equal or greater protection” than COPPA, and the disciplinary action they impose. If the operator you are working with does not comply with the safe harbor guidelines. They also asked what Congress could do to improve the safe harbor program, and how the FTC could amend COPPA rules to better protect children’s privacy. They sought a response by January 28th.

Mozilla to study FACEBOOK tracking — Mozilla, the developer of Firefox, today announced that Facebook has partnered with The Markup, a non-profit newsroom to study how to track users across the Internet. Mozilla RallyCreated last June, a privacy-focused data sharing platform, in collaboration with Markup, shows how Facebook’s ad tracking system, which uses a code called “pixels,” tracks users online. Study The purpose of this study is to clarify the types of data that Facebook Pixel collects, the sites that share this data, and the scope of Facebook’s tracking network.

Privacy Group Promotes FTC, FCC Confirmation — Privacy advocates Free Press Action and Fight for the Future are calling on Democrats in the Senate to quickly identify Gigi Sohn as the FCC Commissioner and Alvaro Bedoya as the FTC Commissioner. President Joe Biden nominated both candidates on Tuesday after the Senate did not confirm them in December. Both the FCC and FTC currently have a 2-2 sectarian division, making it difficult for their Democratic chairs to advance controversial items.

— — “No time to waste There is a lot to do with FCC. Allow billions of dollars invested in broadband to reach those who really need it most, restore net neutrality and title II, take into account the history of media regulator racing, and repair the damage of the Trump era To do. “Craig Aaron, co-CEO of Free Press Action, said in a statement. He also said FTC is ready to undertake the deceptive and harmful practices of large tech companies like Meta and Google. “No further delays are acceptable,” he said.

— — timing: The Senate Trade Commission will hold a markup to vote for potential candidates, including Son and Bedya, in the week of January 24, according to a spokesperson for the Commission.

META Launches Privacy Center — Facebook’s parent company Meta, Announcing a new privacy center On Friday, we will educate our users on how the company collects and uses people’s information. The center will be rolled out to the Facebook app in the coming months and will include modules covering five topics: security, sharing, collection, use and advertising.

Carolyn McIntyre, President of the California Cable & Telecommunications Association has announced that he has resigned after 14 years of service. She hasn’t announced the next gig. … Dark Auer He has been promoted to Director of Competition Policy at the Center for International Law and Economy, addressing competition and antitrust issues in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.

illegal: Members of the US Chamber of Commerce have been fined more than $ 154 billion since 2000, according to a Public Citizen report that casts doubt on the group’s anger at strengthening the FTC. POLITICO’s Leah Nylen Report..

Airport 5G’Buffer Zone’: The Federal Aviation Administration has released a list of 50 airports that require a 5G wireless “buffer zone” to reduce signal interference and ensure that the plane lands safely. POLITICO’s Oriana Pawlyk Report..

What did we learn? Former Texas Congressman Will Hard believes the United States isn’t ready to deal with false information online a year after the January 6 riots. According to an interview with Wired..

Oculus Eyes: The UK Data Watchdog is considering discussing with Meta about parental controls for VRChat, an app for Oculus virtual reality devices. Guardian Report..

Amazon Reduces Covid Vacations: Amazon has told US employees that it will reduce paid leave for those who test positive for Covid-19 from 10 to 7 days following the announcement of shortened quarantine guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Wall Street Journal Report..

Big in Texas: Meta recently leased half of the skyscrapers under construction in downtown Austin. When completed, it will be the tallest building in the city. Austin Business Journal Report..

Make an exit: John Pinnett, Head of Communications at Meta, told employees on Friday that he would leave the company. The Wall Street Journal Report..

New iPhone: Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE this spring. Bloomberg Report..

Tips, comments, suggestions? Email them to our team: Bob King ([email protected]), Heidi Vogt ([email protected]), Emily Birnbaum ([email protected]), John Handel ([email protected]), Rebecca Kern ([email protected]), Alexandra S. Levine ([email protected]) And Leah Nylen ([email protected]). Did you get an event on our calendar?Send details to [email protected]..And don’t forget: Add @MorningTech When @PoliticoPro On Twitter.

TTYL!



Antitrust Enforcers Drowning In Mergers

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