Elon to the FTC. How do you comply with our demands instead of trying to charm Leena Khan?

from not all can be bought with a horse department

As you may recall, after Elon Musk took over Twitter, it became clear that he had zero idea that the company was subject to the FTC’s consent decree, which had just been updated months earlier, and which had pretty strict rules: related to data privacy. and how the company introduced new features. Sometimes it pays to, you know, do some due diligence.

Musk has since told people he’s not worried about the FTC, but perhaps he should be. While the agency does many things that I believe are mistakes, the FTC is not the SEC. It is much more powerful and can cause real problems for companies. And, it’s no surprise to learn that the FTC has looked heavily into whether or not Musk’s Twitter violates the consent decree.

And while Musk tells people he’s not worried, the NY Times notes that back in January, Musk tried to meet with FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, which was denied. And it seems that the rejection came with a message.

Mr. Musk, who owns Twitter, requested a meeting with FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan but was denied, according to the filings. Mr. Musk conducted the experiment late last year, a person with knowledge of the matter said. In a January 27 letter rejecting the meeting, Ms Khan told Twitter’s lawyer to focus on complying with investigators’ requests for information before he thought about meeting Mr. Musk.


However, the details are not so surprising.

In a Jan. 27 tweet from Ms. Khan, she said the company was under investigation and had delayed providing documents to the FTC, delaying depositions from witnesses, including Mr. Musk. He said he was “concerned about Twitter’s delays and the obstacles those delays create for the FTC’s investigation.”

“I recommend that Twitter properly prioritize its legal obligations to provide the requested information,” he wrote. “Once Twitter fully complies with all FTC requirements, I would be happy to discuss scheduling a meeting with Mr. Musk.”

As the former FTC chairman points out in the article, this effectively confirms that Musk is concerned about what the FTC is going to find.

“If you thought you could just brush it aside and it wasn’t a big concern, you’d just ignore it,” said former FTC chairman William Kovacic. “If you think it’s important, that would be a reason to seek a meeting.”

Given how focused Musk has been on cutting costs, I’d imagine a massive FTC fine (not to mention higher compliance costs) isn’t something he’s interested in these days. But thinking he can charm his way out of it seems like maybe not the best idea.

Contract: Consent Decree, Elon Musk, FTC, Lina Khan

Companies: twitter

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