Monday, October 29, 2018

FTC Announces Agenda for the Sixth Session of Its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

From the press release:

The Federal Trade Commission announced the agenda for the sixth session of its Hearings initiative, with two and a half days of sessions on November 6–8, 2018, to be held at American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC.

The hearings at American University will examine the role that data plays in competition and innovation, and also will consider the antitrust analysis of mergers and firm conduct where data is a key asset or product. See detailed agenda.

The Commission invites public comment on these issues, including the questions listed below. Comments can be submitted online. Comments are due January 7, 2018. If any entity has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary that is included in a submitted public comment, such funding and its source should be identified on the first page of any submitted comment.

  1. What is “big data”? Is there an important technical or policy distinction to be drawn between data and big data?
  2. How have developments involving data – including data resources, analytic tools, technology, and business models – changed the understanding and use of personal or commercial information or sensitive data?
  3. Does the importance of data – or large, complex data sets comprising personal or commercial information – in a firm’s ordinary course operations change how the FTC should analyze mergers or firm conduct? If so, how? Does data differ in importance from other assets in assessing firm or industry conduct?
  4. What structural, behavioral, or conduct remedies should the FTC consider when remedying antitrust harm in a market or industry where data or personal or commercial information are a significant product or a key competitive input?
  5. Are there policy recommendations that would facilitate competition in markets involving data or personal or commercial information that the FTC should consider?
  6. Does the presence of personal information or privacy concerns inform or change competition analysis?
  7. Do state, federal, and international privacy laws and regulations affect competition, innovation, and product offerings in the United States and abroad? If so, how?

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