Tell the FTC To Protect Black Consumers from Power-Hungry Corporations and Unauthorized Data Collection! #ProtectBlackConsumers

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    Tell the FTC To Protect Black Consumers from Power-Hungry Corporations and Unauthorized Data Collection! #ProtectBlackConsumers

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Google for unlawfully maintaining a monopoly through exclusive agreements that marginalize rivals (ex. Bing) and preserve its power over workers and consumers. As the dominant search engine, Google leaves Black consumers with fewer choices and exposes Black communities to privacy vulnerabilities—as the company continues to sell user data to law enforcement agencies for $245.00 a warrant. Google is just one example of an industry monopoly whose unchecked business practices have directly harmed Black people and emerging businesses. This lawsuit is much needed, but our community deserves greater protection. 

    Monopolization lawsuits, like that against Google, require years to resolve under current legal standards. While necessary, these lawsuits fail to protect Black consumers, small competitors, and workers in the present. That’s why we believe that it’s time for the Federal Trade Commission to intervene. As an independent agency of the United States government, the Federal Trade Commission has the authority to establish rules that prohibit monopolies from making exclusive arrangements, strengthen fair competition in the marketplace, and build on the Department of Justice’s enforcement efforts. The freedom, security, and livelihood of Black communities depend on it. 

    Demand the Federal Trade Commission to enact a rule prohibiting dominant firms from making exclusive arrangements, contracts, and dealings that harm Black consumers, distributors, and workers. Stand with the Open Markets Institute—and 30 advocacy organizations—in putting an end to corporate greed and monopolies.

    Here is the Petition:

    Dear Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission: 

    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) exists to investigate and prevent unfair methods of competition and to protect consumers from deceptive or unfair business practices. In the past 25 years, however, the FTC has allowed the “Big Three” insulin producers to increase the cost of life-saving medication by 1000%, Aramark to serve only processed foods to low-income children, and Google—known for selling Black people’s data to law enforcement agencies—to become a singularly dominant search engine. Black consumers deserve protection from Big Pharma, the right to choose which foods will nourish their bodies, and control over their data. 

    As an independent agency with rule-making authority, we strongly urge you to prohibit dominant firms from using exclusionary contracts that foreclose rivals from customers, distributors, or suppliers of critical inputs.