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Sally Hubbard

Director of Enforcement Strategy

Sally Hubbard is Director of Enforcement Strategy at the Open Markets Institute. She possesses expertise on critical sectors, especially technology platforms like Google and Facebook, and engages with state attorneys general, who have significant authority to police and rein in monopoly power. Sally served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Bureau of New York State, working for Attorneys General Spitzer, Cuomo, and Schneiderman.

Previously Sally was Head of Monopolization at The Capitol Forum, where she specialized in antitrust, data regulation and tech giants. Sally has testified in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. She regularly provides antitrust expertise for national and global news programs and print media, and she has published her views in media outlets like CNN and The New York Times.

Latest Work

The Washington Post: Pelosi’s Facebook slam reflects rising tensions between social media giant and Democrats

Date Published: January 17, 2020

Sally Hubbard spoke to The Washington Post about how it’s important for CEOs from the biggest tech firms to testify before Congress amid the big tech probe taking place by the House Antitrust Subcommittee. “I think it’s important for the CEOs to appear in a public hearing to make clear they are accountable to our democratically-elected representatives and to the American public,” she said.

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The Washington Post: Smaller companies taking a risk as they challenge Big Tech in hearing

Date Published: January 16, 2020

Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard spoke to The Washington Post about why smaller technology companies have not been more outspoken regarding the anti-competitive practices of larger technology companies ahead of a House Antitrust Subcommittee field hearing taking place in Colorado where smaller tech firm leaders will have an opportunity to testify. “We don’t often hear from those entrepreneurs because they can’t afford to speak out, we haven’t had a look under the hood of these companies,” Hubbard said.

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The American Prospect: Silicon Valley’s Big Apple Gambit

Date Published: January 10, 2020

The Prospect’s Dave Dayen writes that the four biggest tech firms are all opening offices in a very specific section of Manhattan, which happens to be the home district of one of their chief antagonists in Washington. “It’s very concerning,” Sally Hubbard, director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute told him. “[Nadler] is one of the members of Congress who’s on this issue and doing something about it. That’s 20,000 new voters in his district that are employees of the industry he’s trying to rein in.”

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The New York Times: Sonos, Squeezed by the Tech Giants, Sues Google

Date Published: January 7, 2020

The New York Times’ Jack Nicas and Daisuke Wakabayashi report that home-speaker maker Sonos said Google and Amazon stole its technology and abused their power, but it could only risk suing one. “The fear of retaliation is a real fear. Any of these companies could bury them tomorrow. Google could bury them in their search results. Amazon can bury them in their search results,” Sally Hubbard told them.

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Voice of America: No Longer Enamored, Washington Looks Critically at Silicon Valley

Date Published: December 26, 2019

Voice of America’s Michelle Quinn reports that the “era of Silicon Valley operating largely free from government regulation may be coming to an end.” She speaks to Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard about how “Washington seems to have woken up to the dangers of technology companies that have become the gatekeepers of communications and commerce.”

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Washington Post: Federal antitrust investigators could seek injunction targeting Facebook’s plans to integrate apps

Date Published: December 12, 2019

The Washington Post’s Tony Romm reports that regulators probing Facebook for violations of antitrust law have considered seeking a preliminary injunction against the company, aiming to halt the tech giant’s plans to integrate its social-networking app with the other services it owns. “At a time when Facebook is under scrutiny for its monopoly power and its abuses of its power, to say it’s going to integrate these three platforms is just another monopoly grab,” Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard told him.

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WIRED: Google Is Basically Daring the Government to Block Its Fitbit Deal

Date Published: November 13, 2019

WIRED’s Gilad Edelman writes that Google’s moves into health data will test how serious antitrust enforcers are about privacy issues. “These promises about what they’re going to do with data in the context of merger approvals deserve absolutely no weight,” Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard told WIRED. “Especially when you’re talking about a company that has persistently violated the privacy laws, been repeatedly fined—a persistent recidivist when it comes to privacy violations.”

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Washington Post: Google will acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion in direct challenge to Apple

Date Published: November 1, 2019

Washington Post’s Rachel Siegel and Tony Romm report on Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of smartwatch maker Fitbit. Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard told them that regulators has been “slow to the game” when it comes to looking at how data fortifies the monopoly power of corporations such as Google. “That’s a source of their dominance,” Hubbard said.

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Reuter: Google results to share stage with U.S. antitrust probe

Date Published: October 28, 2019

Reuters reports Alphabet Inc’s, Google’s holding company’s, quarterly results which are under the shadow of a major antitrust probe by over 40 U.S. attorneys general. Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard told Reuters five years later the Google practices concerning investigators has not abated. “But the political winds have shifted,” said Hubbard, who worked for the New York AG from 2005 to 2012. “There’s a lot more momentum to fix the situation.”

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POLITICO: Warren’s blasts at tech leave Biden in the shadows

Date Published: October 18, 2019

POLITICO’s Nancy Scola covers October’s Democratic Debate and reports that former Vice President Joe Biden “was the quietest person on stage on the question of how to handle Silicon Valley.” She speaks with Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard who said of the antitrust portion of the debate “People are understanding that it’s not just some technocratic, boring area. It’s fundamentally about equality and freedom, the American way, the American dream. It’s at the heart of capitalism and what we think of core American values.”

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AP: Facebook CEO defends refusal to take down some content

Date Published: October 17, 2019

AP’s Marcy Gordon covers a speech Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made at Georgetown University on “free speech.” Reporters were not allowed to ask questions — only students were given that chance, filtered by a moderator. Facebook and Georgetown barred news organizations from filming, Gordon reports. Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard told the AP: “It’s quite ironic.”

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Axios: 1 big thing – Walmart is winning the antitrust wars

Date Published: October 9, 2019

Axios Future analyzes why Walmart remains under the radar as big tech undergoes antitrust scrutiny.  “I don’t think anyone is paying attention to Walmart,” Sally Hubbard, Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy, told Axios. “It’s just not on people’s minds because it isn’t considered the way of the future. … The government sees brick and mortar as more of a dying industry.”

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Vox: A $5 billion fine won’t fix Facebook. Here’s what would.

Date Published: September 10, 2019

We can do better than fine companies that break the law, writes Vox’s Emily Stewart. She speaks to Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard about the recent developments with Facebook. “As long as it is profitable to break the law, corporations, which are profit-maximizing entities by design, will continue to break the law,” says Hubbard. “You actually need to go harder on the big guys, and it’s not a question of lack of authority, it’s a lack of political will.”

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The Verge: Google under antitrust investigation by 50 attorneys general

Date Published: September 9, 2019

The Verge reports that 50 attorneys general from US states and territories signed onto an antitrust investigation into Google, placing even more pressure on the major tech firm that is already facing intense scrutiny over its market dominance from the government. They cite Open Markets’ Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard’s statement on the news: “We haven’t seen a major monopolization case against a tech giant since Microsoft was sued in 1998. Today’s announcement marks the start of a new era.”

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The Telegraph: Google could be this century’s Standard Oil – will it be broken up?

Date Published: September 5, 2019

Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard speaks with The Telegraph about what a big tech probe by the U.S. attorneys general would mean and how the law could be leveraged against Google. Any upcoming probe into Google would also rely on the Sherman Act, and proving that the search giant has both “monopoly power and exclusionary conduct” says Hubbard.

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WIRED: Fines Alone Aren’t Enough to Slow Down Big Tech

Date Published: September 4, 2019

The FTC could do more to punish companies like Google and Facebook over privacy violations. But the bigger problem is that Congress continues to do nothing at all. “Often the problem with privacy issues is that the FTC’s authority is limited, but here the FTC’s authority under COPPA is ample,” says Sally Hubbard, director of strategic enforcement at the nonprofit Open Markets Institute told WIRED.

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POLITICO: Inside the media industry’s struggle to take on Silicon Valley

Date Published: August 30, 2019

POLITICO’s Nancy Scola and Margaret Harding McGill report that U.S. news companies are using a playbook from Europe to challenge the online platforms they see as an existential threat. They speak to Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard who says “I think the bargaining power between any individual publisher and a tech platform is just too vast.”

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The Verge: The FTC is looking into the Amazon and Apple deal that crushed small resellers

Date Published: August 2, 2019

The Verge’s Nick Statt speaks with Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard about Amazon’s deal with Apple to bring direct iPhone sales to its platform for the first time. Hubbard believes the Amazon-Apple deal could be a violation of antitrust laws that deal with anti-competitive conduct like price-fixing and illegal market allocation.

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Yahoo! Finance: Ex-antitrust prosecutor on Amazon: ‘There is plenty there for enforcers to go after’

Date Published: July 24, 2019

Yahoo Finance Associate Editor Katie Krzaczek reports on an interview of Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard by Yahoo Finance’s YFI AM on the recent news that the Department of Justice is launching an antitrust review of big tech. Hubbard told Yahoo Finance’s YFI AM that “there is plenty there for enforcers to go after,” especially in its retail practices.

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The American Prospect: A Week of Reckoning for Big Tech

Date Published: July 16, 2019

The American Prospect’s David Dayen previews a week of hearing scrutinizing big tech. He cites Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard who said that the subcommittee investigation itself, more than public hearings, will drive recommendations for reshaping tech platform markets.

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Bloomberg: YouTube’s Trampled Foes Plot Antitrust Revenge

Date Published: July 15, 2019

Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard speaks with Bloomberg reporters Lucas Shaw and Mark Bergen about YouTube’s dominance. She says of the video platform owned by Google, “If you’re looking into Google, it would be remiss not to look at YouTube. You’ve got monopolies upon monopolies.”

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HuffPost: Critics Say Facebook Penalty Is A Slap On The Wrist As Stock Prices Surge

Date Published: July 12, 2019

HuffPost’s Carla Herreria reports on how “Democrats in Congress are threatening to take action after the FTC reportedly voted on a $5 billion penalty for Facebook’s privacy violations.” She reports on the critics of the fine, including citing Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard blasting the fine as “woefully insufficient,” and how Facebook’s stock valuation only rose with the news of the FTC settlement.

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Yahoo! News: People ‘have no clue’ how much data Facebook and Google collect, antitrust advocate says

Date Published: July 10, 2019

Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy talks to Jon Ward, host of Yahoo’s Long Game Podcast on the case for regulating Facebook and Google. “The amount of data that Facebook and Google are collecting about the average person is absolutely insane, massive, widespread, ubiquitous, and I think honestly, a fraud on the American people that the people don’t understand that this is happening,” said Hubbard.

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CBS News: Big Tech becomes big punching bag at House hearing on news business

Date Published: June 11, 2019

CBS News covers the House Judiciary Committee antitrust investigation scrutinizing Big Tech’s impact on the free press. They quote testimony by Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard who stated: “If we don’t act now to change the structure of our markets, titans will continue to control speech, journalism will continue to suffer, and so will our democracy.”

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TIME: Democrats Have Picked the First Target of Their Sweeping Tech Antitrust Probe

Date Published: June 6, 2019

TIME reporter Alana Abramson reports that House lawmakers are kicking off their antitrust investigations of technology companies by focusing on an industry crippled by the rise of big tech: local journalism. She reports that Open Markets Institute Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard will testify at the first hearing along with Gene Kimmelman, the president of Public Knowledge, and David Chavern, the president of News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 newspapers across the U.S. and Canada.

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Bloomberg: Big Tech Could Get Subpoenas in House Probe, Top Democrat Says

Date Published: June 4, 2019

Bloomberg’s Naomi Nix reports on how the U.S. House panel conducting an antitrust investigation of technology companies is prepared to issue subpoenas as it begins by focusing on the impact of digital platforms on news media organizations. She also reported that Open Markets Institute Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard has been tapped to testify at the first hearing as a witness.

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Bloomberg Law: Apple’s Supreme Court Loss Could Ease Path for More Tech Suits

Date Published: May 14, 2019

Bloomberg Law’s Victoria Graham speaks to Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard about the recent decision by the Supreme Court in the Apple v. Pepper case and how the ruling clarifies another high court decision last year—Ohio v. American Express Co.—that set a difficult standard for bringing antitrust suits. The Apple case “makes it clear that the American Express decision was addressing a very specific type of platform,” Hubbard said. “It was not meant to cover all two sided markets.”

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The Hill: Zuckerberg call for tech rules gets cold reception

Date Published: April 3, 2019

The Hill’s Harper Neidig talks to Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard about Facebook CEP Mark Zuckerberg’s call to regulate Internet giants and eyebrows raised by his proposals. “I think he’s trying to avoid what we really need, which is to stop the massive collection of data and to stop these algorithms that prioritize engagement and elevate the [harmful] content,” Hubbard told The Hill.

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Facebook needs more than a $5 billion fine. It needs a new business model

Date Published: July 25, 2019

Open Markets Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard published an op-ed on CNN Business on the Federal Trade Commission’s $5 billion settlement with Facebook and asserts that the company needs a new business model. “Instead of fines, changing destructive business models and anticompetitive practices is the only way to lessen the platforms’ harms,” Hubbard writes. “These fixes fall into four main buckets, spelling out the acronym PAIN: privacy, antitrust, interoperability and non-discrimination.”

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Monopolies are killing the American Dream. We must keep them in check

Date Published: July 2, 2019

Open Markets Institute Director of Enforcement Strategy Sally Hubbard has published a piece on CNN Business describing the extent of the concentration crisis in America and how monopoly is killing the American Dream. While big tech remains in the crosshairs for lawmakers and the 2020 presidential candidates, as seen during the first night of the Democratic debate, Hubbard emphasizes that the monopoly problem extends far beyond tech, crippling economic growth, raising prices, depressing wages, and making life increasingly harder for average Americans.

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We’re getting closer to stopping tech giants like Apple from abusing their power

Date Published: May 15, 2019

Of the big four tech giants, Facebook, Google and Amazon have been taking heat for abusing their market power, while Apple has been flying under the radar. That’s because Apple’s business model, unlike that of Facebook and Google, doesn’t depend on closely tracking your data, and it has been more restrained than Amazon in the number of markets it muscles into. But thanks to a US Supreme Court decision on Monday, Apple is finally getting the attention it deserves.

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Noncompete clauses trap #MeToo victims in abusive workplaces. The FTC should ban them.

Date Published: May 14, 2019

After decades of virtual silence, the #MeToo movement has publicized the epidemic of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The recent New York Times investigation of Sterling Jewelers exposes the depth of the problem and shows how long and hard women’s fight for justice remains. Since women who complain about harassment face retaliation and even termination, often the only way to escape it is to find a new job. Yet for many women, continuing their careers with a new employer turns out to be impossible.

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Facebook’s new plan doesn’t protect your privacy, and neither does the FTC

Date Published: May 3, 2019

Facebook didn’t get where it is today by protecting your privacy. The company made $56 billion in 2018, in part by tracking people both on and off its platform and then selling targeted advertisements based on that surveillance. Yet when Facebook announced a shift to a “privacy-focused communications platform” in March and unveiled a redesign toward private messaging at its F8 developers conference on Tuesday, Facebook’s stock value did not even dip. How could that be, if surveillance is essential to Facebook’s business model?

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In America today, wealth and political power are more concentrated than at any point in our country’s history.

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