Rules Needed to Define Unfair Practices
Google, Facebook and Twitter have much in common. All three web-based service firms have pioneered or reinvented their primary area of expertise. All three companies are American businesses that have changed how the world uses the internet. All three companies act as platforms bringing together different sets of users. Of particular note, all three companies provide their primary services to consumers for free.
Also of note, all three firms are reported to be either under FTC investigation (Google and Twitter) or the subject of a petition to the FTC to be investigated (Facebook).
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE), a regulatory watchdog, has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to initiate a public process establishing a “trade regulation” for web-based services. Through the rule-making, the FTC would clearly define acts or practices which they consider unacceptable.
A copy of the CRE petition is available at http://thecre.com/pdf/CRE-FTC%20Petition.pdf