The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an antitrust hearing Tuesday.
The Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws.”
The hearing arises as the House Judiciary Committee has held antitrust hearings on big tech, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and almost all state attorneys general have launched antitrust investigations into America’s largest technology companies.
FTC Chairman Joe Simons and DOJ Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
The senators will likely question Simons and Delrahim regarding the DOJ and FTC’s investigations into big tech’s reportedly anticompetitive practices.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and other senators such as Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have criticized the FTC’s policing of big tech companies.
Hawley said that the FTC “utterly” failed to penalize Facebook “in any effective way” for violating Americans’ privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The consumer protection agency also recently fined Google $136 million to settle allegations that it violated child privacy laws.
“YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “Yet when it came to complying with COPPA, the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids. There’s no excuse for YouTube’s violations of the law.”
Technology experts have also decried the fine. The Center for Digital Democracy called the fine “woefully low,” calling Google’s privacy violation “egregious.”
Center for Digital Democracy deputy director Katharina Kopa said in a statement, “A small amount like this would effectively reward Google for engaging in massive and illegal data collection without any regard to children’s safety.”