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Bloomberg reports that Joe Simons, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), says that “he’s prepared to break up major technology platforms if necessary by undoing their past mergers as his agency investigates whether companies including Facebook Inc. are harming competition.” Simons says that “breaking up a company is challenging, but could be the right remedy to rein in dominant companies and restore competition.”

The story notes that “the FTC and the Justice Department are stepping up scrutiny of the tech industry amid a bipartisan outcry in Washington to rein in the power of the dominant companies … Antitrust experts and lawmakers argue that giant tech companies have used a wave of takeovers of startups to shut down competition by buying -- and eliminating -- emerging rivals.”

At the same time, Simons says that “the agency is interested in hearing complaints alleging that Inc. is punishing merchants that offer lower prices on other e-commerce websites.

“‘Anyone who wants to complain, we’re all ears,’ said Simons in an interview Tuesday. ‘That’s the type of scenario that would be among the ones that we would want to look at, but I can’t tell you we are doing it for any particular platform’.”
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