Five Big Name Technology Firms to be Examined by FTC

Five Big Name Technology Firms to be Examined by FTC

Alphabet Inc.,, Inc., Apple, Inc., Facebook, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. were issued Special Orders from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) demanding they make available information and documents on acquisitions unreported to antitrust agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act.  The order requests documents discussing terms, scope, structure and reason for transactions from these big name technology firms over the duration of ten years.

Sent under the Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, these orders allow the Commission to manage comprehensive studies that will assist in the FTC’s understanding of these firms’ acquisition activity.  For example, how transactions are reported to the federal antitrust agencies and if they are possibly making anticompetitive acquisitions of developing competitors that are ranked below HSR filing thresholds. In today’s press release on the FTC’s website, Chairman Joe Simons makes the following comment: “Digital technology companies are a big part of the economy and our daily lives,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “This initiative will enable the Commission to take a closer look at acquisitions in this important sector, and also to evaluate whether the federal agencies are getting adequate notice of transactions that might harm competition. This will help us continue to keep tech markets open and competitive, for the benefit of consumers.”

The purpose of this study is to use the data collected to learn about trends in structuring deals, acquisitions and the performance of small firms after they are obtained by larger firms. Under the HSR Act, the FTC is allowed to analyze mergers and acquisitions above a particular size before they are complete.

To read this press release in full:

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