Sen. Josh Hawley proposes FTC overhaul to take on Google and Facebook

Photo by Leigh Vogel for The Verge

On Monday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) published a new plan to remake the Federal Trade Commission with an eye toward reining in big tech companies.

“The FTC has stood by as major corporations have consolidated their power and stifled competition,” Hawley writes in the paper. “The agency as presently constituted is in no shape to ensure competition in today’s markets, let alone tomorrow’s.”

Tasked with protecting consumers, the FTC has been the source of significant frustration for antitrust advocates in recent years. Existing law prevents the commission from levying fines for initial violations, as in the Cambridge Analytica case. When fines are enacted, as in Facebook’s recent $5 billion fine, they’re often seen as insufficient. As a…

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