Republican proposes FTC overhaul

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) in a proposal published Monday accused the country’s top consumer protection agency — the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — of failing to intervene as the world’s most powerful tech companies amassed reams of personal information about their millions of U.S. users and gobbled up hundreds of smaller companies.

In response, Hawley is proposing a total overhaul of the FTC, an effort to streamline and beef up the federal government’s ability to take on large, valuable tech companies like Facebook and Google.

“It is time for Congress to overhaul the FTC and bring it into the 21st century,” reads the plan published by Hawley’s office.

The proposal says the FTC in its current structure “lacks teeth,” has a “divided” jurisdiction, and “wastes time in turf wars with the Department of Justice (DOJ).”

Hawley’s proposal would relocate the FTC to the DOJ, replace the five-member commission with a single director, and offer the agency a new set of tools to specifically take on Big Tech.

“The FTC has proven lethargic, unwieldy, susceptible to agency capture, and prone to turf wars,” Hawley’s office wrote.

Hawley’s office told The Hill the senator will propose legislation similar to the proposal in the coming weeks.