Republican Sens. Josh Hawley from Missouri, Mike Lee from Utah, and Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee sent letters Thursday to Senate Justice Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Acting FTC Chairperson Rebecca Kelly Slaughter request a public meeting “Monitor the enforcement or under-enforcement of our country’s antitrust laws,” including statements from top Google executives and former FTC commissioners.
“The reporting confirms what has become increasingly clear in recent years: In view of the most momentous antitrust proceedings of a generation and numerous evidence of market dominance and misconduct, the antitrust authorities in the country have not acted,” the senators wrote to Durbin. “The FTC’s inaction has had far-reaching implications for our economy, culture, and democracy … well beyond the policies and market power of any single company.”
“The regulators responsible for this era of under-enforcement that has resulted in unprecedented economic concentration must be held accountable on record,” they added.
Many of the people on the front lines of the Obama FTC investigation are still embroiled in Washington’s antitrust wars with the tech giants – in some cases they are now playing for the other side.
Google dismissed the rerun of the FTC’s 2012 decision as a “D.C. parlor game.”
The memos received from POLITICO finally confirm that the decision not to initiate antitrust proceedings against the design of the Google search engine was backed by clear and unambiguous recommendations from all the sections of the FTC that reviewed them, including the Competition Bureau, the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Bureau of Economics and the General Counsel’s Office, “Rosie Lipscomb, Director of Competition Legal at Google, wrote in a blog post.