FTC official cautions to keep privacy and antitrust doctrines separate – ABA Spring Meeting

29 April 2020 - 12:00 am UTC

Privacy and antitrust law should not be integrated as these “are two different things,” a Federal Trade Commission official said today (April 29) at the American Bar Association’s Virtual Antitrust Spring Meeting.

The contemporary antitrust debate on whether the value of data – its use, protection and privacy – warrants the incorporation of privacy issues into antitrust policy made an appearance on the panel titled “Where do vertically integrated digital platforms end?” Privacy and antitrust historically have been two separate doctrines in the U.S.

FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips said on the panel that data issues such as consumer data and health data always factor into antitrust reviews and can be seen through remedies the agencies have implemented. He pointed to firewalls separating business operations and requirements for interoperability as examples.