Biden Administration Seeks 11% Rise In FTC & DOJ Funding

President Joe Biden’s proposed budget would give an 11% funding increase to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as well as a hefty boost to the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, both of which filed major lawsuits against big tech companies last year.

The agencies, which review mergers to ensure they comply with antitrust law and other enforcement, have been at the center of a political storm, with progressives and some Republicans accusing them of being too lax, reported Reuters.

Under the Biden budget, released Friday, may 28, the FTC, which has about 1,140 people and also investigates companies accused of deceiving consumers, would see its staff increase to about 1,250 in the 2022 fiscal year, which begins on October 1.

The Biden budget for the next fiscal year envisions the agency spending US$389.8 million. That’s an increase from US$351 million this year, or about 11%.

Under Biden’s plan, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division would see its budget increase from US$185 million to US$201 million, an increase of 8.6%.

The president’s budget is generally seen as a statement of intent in terms of policies. In addition to being at the center of a policy debate, the agencies filed major antitrust lawsuits last year. The Justice Department sued Alphabet’s Google while the FTC sued Facebook.