The Federal Trade Commission held the sixth session in its Hearings initiative, with two and a half days of sessions on November 6 – 8, 2018, at American University Washington College of Law, in Washington, D.C.
The hearings examined the role that data play in competition and innovation and will also consider the antitrust analysis of mergers and firm conduct where data is a key asset or product.
The Commission invited public comment on these issues, including the questions listed below. Comments were due January 7, 2019. 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.
- What is “big data”? Is there an important technical or policy distinction to be drawn between data and big data?
- How have developments involving data – data resources, analytic tools, technology, and business models – changed the understanding and use of personal or commercial information or sensitive data?
- 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?
- 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?
- Are there policy recommendations that would facilitate competition in markets involving data or personal or commercial information that the FTC should consider?
- Do the presence of personal information or privacy concerns inform or change competition analysis?
- How do state, federal, and international privacy laws and regulations, adopted to protect data and consumers, affect competition, innovation, and product offerings in the United States and abroad?
The FTC Hearings On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Request for accommodations should be submitted to Elizabeth Kraszewski via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (202) 326-3087. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. Please allow at least five days advance notice for accommodation requests; last minute requests will be accepted but may not be possible to accommodate.