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Zuckerberg Interviewed By FTC Amid Antitrust Probe

 |  August 20, 2020

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified this week at a Federal Trade Commission investigative hearing as part of the agency’s antitrust investigation into the social network, according to Politico.

FTC staff often interview witnesses under oath as part of their investigations in a process similar to a deposition, and nearly always in cases they expect to lead to a lawsuit. The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the probe, said the step doesn’t necessarily signal that the agency will ultimately pursue an antitrust lawsuit.

According to Politico the testimony, conducted under oath and remotely over the course of two days this week, could be used to help the FTC and state attorneys general build a case against the social network.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg testified in July before a House panel as part of an antitrust probe into the tech industry, where he faced stiff questioning about the company’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

At an aug. 5 Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing, FTC Chair Joe Simons declined to say whether the agency was planning to interview Zuckerberg in its antitrust probe. But he defended the FTC’s decision not to seek testimony under oath in its earlier privacy case.

“Sometimes it’s important to depose the CEO and sometimes it’s not necessary. When it’s important we do it,” Simons told senators. In the privacy case “we had emails from lots and lots of people. We did not need Zuckerberg in a deposition for that case.”