FTC Task Force to Monitor Technology MarketsThe Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition announced the creation of a task force dedicated to monitoring competition in U.S. technology markets, investigating any potential anticompetitive conduct in those markets, and taking enforcement actions when warranted. The new task force team will include approximately 17 staff attorneys from divisions within the Bureau who have expertise in complex product and service markets and ecosystems, including markets for online advertising, social networking, mobile operating systems and apps, and platform businesses. The task force will also include a Technology Fellow, who will provide important technical assistance and expertise to support the task force’s investigations.
The new task force will be led by Patricia Galvan, currently the Deputy Assistant Director of the Mergers III Division, and Krisha Cerilli, currently Counsel to the Director. The task force will be overseen by Director Bruce Hoffman, Deputy Director Gail Levine, and Associate Director for Digital Markets Daniel Francis. In addition to examining industry practices and conducting law enforcement investigations, the task force will, among other things, coordinate and consult with staff throughout the FTC on technology-related matters, including prospective merger reviews in the technology sector and reviews of consummated technology mergers. It will also work closely with economists from the FTC’s Bureau of Economics and coordinate with their counterparts in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection who also focus on technology platforms.
“Technology markets, which are rapidly evolving and touch so many other sectors of the economy, raise distinct challenges for antitrust enforcement,” said Bureau Director Bruce Hoffman. “By centralizing our expertise and attention, the new task force will be able to focus on these markets exclusively – ensuring they are operating pursuant to the antitrust laws, and taking action where they are not.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: FTC Task Force to Monitor Technology Markets, FCC Offers New A-CAM Support for Rural Broadband, Texas Considering a Review of All Chapter 26 Rules
FCC Offers New A-CAM Support for Rural Broadband
The FCC announced it has offered an additional $67 million in annual support to 207 rural rate-of-return ILECs s that could bring improved service to nearly 110,000 homes and businesses in rural communities across states. The offer was made to carriers that receive funding through the Connect America Fund’s Alternative Connect America Cost Model, or A-CAM. In return for this increased funding, the providers must significantly expand the availability of service delivering at least 25/3 Mbps speeds in locations which otherwise would have received 10/1 Mbps or worse service. Carriers have until March 27, 2019, to notify the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau, on a state-by-state basis, whether they elect to receive the revised amount of model-based support.
The accompanying Report shows the revised state-level offers of model-based support and revised deployment obligations for each carrier that has already been authorized by the Bureau to receive A-CAM, and is therefore eligible to elect a revised offer.
Texas Considering a Review of All Chapter 26 Rules
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) has opened a proceeding to determine whether it should readopt, readopt with amendments, or repeal the “Substantive Rules Applicable To Telecommunications Service Providers” contained in Chapter 26 of its rules. All 16 subchapters of the rules are subject to review. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 2/25/19.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.