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Questions surround Biden’s biased FTC amid Musk’s Twitter buy

Empower Wisconsin  | May 25, 2022

U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) is demanding President Biden’s biased Federal Trade Commission deal fairly in its review of Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter.

Fitzgerald joined U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop (N.C.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas) in sending a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan. The letter cites concerns about the politicization of the agency and a disturbing lack of transparency.

“Big Tech is no friend of conservatives, and neither is President Biden’s FTC. The Left has made clear its discontent with Elon Musk’s attempt to restore free speech on Twitter,” Fitzgerald said. “We must ensure that his bid to purchase the social media company receives a fair review well above the partisan fray by the Commission.”

The letter notes Big Tech’s attack on free speech, with Twitter’s reputation for heavy-handed censorship of conservatives. The lawmakers assert Musk is trying to reverse Twitter’s “harsh and one-sided content moderation policies and replacing them with a more measured approach that only removes clearly unlawful tweets and user accounts.”

“We are concerned that the politicization seen at the FTC during the Biden Administration will slow or even halt Twitter’s moves toward more free speech under the leadership of Elon Musk,” the letter states.

The FTC has regularly been accused of playing politics in its regulation of businesses the Biden administration has declared war on.

“Just a few months ago, the FTC heeded the White House’s call to investigate oil and gas companies for price gouging to distract from the Administration’s own policies that clamp down on domestic production,” the congressmen write. “Even more recently, the Open Markets Institute’s call to block Mr. Musk’s purchase of Twitter coincided with your own investigation of the deal.”

Fitzgerald and his colleagues are asking the FTC to provide the following information by May 31:

  • All documents and communication between or among the Federal Trade Commission and any third-party organizations referring or relating to Mr. Musk’s purchase of Twitter;
  • All documents and communication between or among the Federal Trade Commission and members and staff of the White House Competition Council referring or relating to Mr. Musk’s purchase of Twitter;
  • All documents and communications, including all plans, proposals, or other communications, referring or relating to the FTC’s purpose in making inquiries related to Mr. Musk’s purchase of Twitter that deviate from typical reviews

“Decisions related to Twitter’s governance will shape digital free speech in the years to come,” the letter states.

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