The team is modeled after a merger litigation task force created by FTC Chairman Joe Simons when he was the Bureau of Competition Director in 2002. You can expect "approximately" 17 attorneys with expertise in a range of areas, including mobile operating systems, online ads and social networking. There will also be a Technology Fellow who'll provide assistance and know-how to back investigations.
Simons characterized this as necessary when the role of tech "grows more important every day." It's important that people "benefit from free and fair competition," he said.
The timing isn't all that coincidental. It's coming as the FTC is in the midst of exploring a flurry of industry practices, including Facebook's data handling policies, Qualcomm's alleged antitrust abuses and even loot boxes in games. This theoretically gives the Commission more opportunity to pursue these cases and, hopefully, a better understanding of the issues at hand.