The five leaders of the Federal Trade Commission testified together before a Senate panel for the first time in nearly two years on Wednesday, reported Broadband Breakfast.
The FTC is charged with maintaining a competitive marketplace and protecting consumers’ personal information, and members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation maintained that the agency has a significant role to play in the enforcement of antitrust and data privacy legislation.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., reminded the FTC commissioners that tech conglomerates Facebook and Amazon are within their purview, arguing that last Wednesday’s historic House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearing brought about a greater sense of urgency to act.
This led FTC Chairman Joseph Simons to reveal that litigation against Facebook is currently ongoing.
Referencing Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, Simons reported that “breaking up Facebook is an option that is definitely on the table.”
Other FTC commissioners requested to be granted jurisdiction over common carriers and given the ability to impose civil penalties.
The commissioners urged members of the Senate to continue enacting data privacy and security legislation.
“The FTC stands ready to enforce a national data privacy law,” said FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter.
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