U.S. antitrust regulators have the power to address big data concerns but have shied away from doing so, unlike their counterparts in Europe, according to Chris Sagers, a professor of antitrust law at Cleveland State University.
“The argument that aggregations of data are of competitive significance is very plausible and could be part of some kind of federal action against Facebook,” he told Bloomberg Law.
The newly configured FTC could make that shift easier. “It’s unprecedented to have the FTC totally turn over like this,” said Matt Stoller, a research analyst for the Open Markets Institute, a competition advocacy group. “It gives them an opportunity to start with a clean slate, which you don’t ordinarily see at the FTC.”