According to J. Thomas Rosch, commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, entrepreneurial garage inventors need to beware. Rosch spoke Wednesday about his concerns regarding four large tech companies - Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft.
Rosch’s concern is that these four companies could make it extremely difficult for upstart companies to enter the Internet advertising market. The FTC has concerns that those four companies have become so big that they could manipulate the market in their favor.
Rosch pointed to Google’s search methods, Facebook’s huge friend population, Apple’s app store, and Microsoft’s alliance with Facebook as signifying a highly concentrated advertising market.
He also pointed to a proposed FTC proposal regarding advertising that could actually work against ensuring upstarts have the ability to truly compete. For instance, the FTC has proposed requiring browsers to install a “Do Not Track” tool to prevent tracking advertisements. Rosch’s opinion is that the big players will be able to find ways to work around this type of regulation while smaller players will be the most impacted.
Rosch's remarks came on the same day that the FTC ordered Google to submit to regular privacy audits for the next 20 years. That action awaits a full commission vote.