WASHINGTON – The Competitiveness Coalition announced today it has sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding suspected collusion between the agency and European regulators. Signed by Chair Scott Brown, the request arrives ahead of FTC Chair Lina Khan’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on July 13.
Specifically, the Coalition is seeking written communication or memorandum sent, received, recorded, or drafted in relation to the agency’s involvement with the Digital Markets Act. The request is in response to public reports of the FTC and Department of Justice (DOJ) dispatching respective taxpayer-funded agency officials to help with implementation of the EU law. The FTC previewed this commitment in a March press release and a Politico EU report revealed the agency staff will be in Brussels for six months to “provide technical assistance” to the European Commission.
“For months, questions have been swirling around Chair Khan’s purported collusion with European regulators in an effort to erode our innovators’ ability to compete on the world stage,” said Brown. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, especially when American taxpayers are footing the bill. We are hopeful that Chair Khan will comply with this request in a timely manner. Failure to do so indicates not only an aversion to transparency, but a belief that she is above the rules she demands of others.”
The Coalition’s records request is for the period January 1, 2023, to June 16, 2023.
The EU’s Digital Markets Act took effect May 2, 2023. Among other requirements, the law forces “gatekeepers” to make their services interoperable. An online platform is deemed a “gatekeeper” if it has more than 45 million monthly active users and a $82 billion market capitalization over the last three years.
The law, described by The Wall Street Journal editorial board as similar to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s American Innovation & Choice Online Act, is aimed at helping European startups and companies compete with American tech firms, “though Chinese companies like ByteDance may turn out to be the biggest beneficiaries.”
“The requested records are likely to contribute to the public’s understanding of the FTC’s rulemaking process, and any collaboration that may have occurred between Commissioner Khan and staff at the FTC regarding the formulation and implementation of the Digital Markets Act and the European Commission,” the FOIA letter states.
For more than a year, the Competitiveness Coalition has been sounding the alarm on the FTC’s egregious overreach and concerning actions. To learn more about the Coalition’s work on this front, please visit www.competitivenesscoalition.com.
Members of the press can contact the coalition at email@example.com.
###The Competitiveness Coalition is a first-of-its-kind group educating the public and advocating for policies that put consumers first while fostering innovation and attracting new investment.