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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

24 International Competition Network Participants Issue Joint Statement on Increasing Tech Capacity to Keep Pace with Increasing Digitization of the Economy

The Federal Trade Commission and other member agencies of the International Competition Network (ICN) jointly issued a statement about how regulatory agencies can increase their tech capacity to keep pace with the increasing use of technology across industries.

The joint statement grew out of a first-ever Technology Forum convened March 25-26 in Washington DC by competition and consumer protection authorities who participate in the ICN and hosted by the FTC.

Separately, a number of U.S. federal and state agencies, including the FTC, also released agency-specific action statements today on tech capacity. These statements reflect concrete actions to increase tech capacity, including actively hiring technologists, which will help the agencies enforce existing laws and design remedies that work for consumers, workers, small businesses, and others.

The FTC also released a new staff report today that details the evolution of the agency’s work to expand its technological expertise and how the agency’s Office of Technology, created in early 2023, applies its subject matter expertise to assisting the agency’s enforcement and regulatory work.

A Joint Statement on Increasing Tech Capacity in Law Enforcement Agencies Around the World

The joint statement recognizes that the increasing digitization of economies around the world require a greater level of expertise in order to assess the behavior of companies and the ability to weigh potential benefits and risks of technology. The statement notes that integrating technological expertise in competition and consumer protection enforcement work can help ensure timely intervention to tackle problems at their inception. This includes detecting consumer harms or anticompetitive conduct, targeting unlawful practices before they are widely adopted, or assessing market conditions that could lead markets to tip. This can help limit harms, promote greater competition and innovation, and save time and resources over the long term.

The joint statement also calls for building interdisciplinary technological expertise by hiring roles across software and hardware engineering, product design and user experience, data science, investigative and user research, expertise in machine learning and artificial intelligence, ad tech and others. Lastly, the participants called for building on this year’s ICN Technology Forum through continued engagement and cross fertilization of ideas and best practices.

The lead staffers on these matters include Noam Kantor, Amritha Jayanti, and Stephanie Nguyen in the Office of Technology and Paul O’Brien and Maria Coppola in the Office of International Affairs.

Official news published at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2024/03/24-international-competition-network-participants-issue-joint-statement-increasing-tech-capacity

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