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The Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating Twitter, declined to meet with CEO Elon Musk in late January, according to The New York Times.
“I recommend that Twitter appropriately prioritize its legal obligations to provide the requested information,” chair Lina Khan wrote. “Once Twitter has fully complied with all F.T.C. requests, I will be happy to consider scheduling a meeting with Mr. Musk.”
The letter, which the Times viewed, said Twitter had delayed producing documents and depositions for the agency, which is responsible for trying to protect consumers from deceitful business practices.
The agency’s relationship with Twitter is marked by an investigation that ended in 2011 with the FTC settling with the company over data security practices, which included a program to protect user data the company had to implement. It was also fined $150 million in May 2022, the agency said, for breaking the terms of the agreement.
The ongoing inquiry, per the NYT, which viewed agency emails and spoke with “people with knowledge of the matter,” includes wanting Musk to sit down for a deposition.
Khan also said in her late January letter she was “troubled by Twitter’s delays and the obstacles that these delays are creating for the F.T.C.’s investigation.”
Musk railed against the agency in March when he attacked the agency for asking for information about the journalists who could view company internal communications, i.e., the “Twitter files,” per the WSJ.
A shameful case of weaponization of a government agency for political purposes and suppression of the truth!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2023
Leaders of companies under investigation by the FTC have met with the agency to help reassure the regulator about compliance, but it’s not frequent, the NYT noted.