The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has demanded Twitter turn over internal communications related to owner Elon Musk, as well as detailed information about layoffs. The regulator said that it has concerns that staff reductions could compromise the company’s ability to protect users, documents viewed by the Wall Street Journal show. The FTC is also seeking to depose Musk.The demand letters were obtained by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee.
In 12 letters sent to Twitter and its lawyers since Musk’s Oct. 27 takeover, the FTC also asked the company to “identify all journalists” granted access to company records and to provide information about the launch of the revamped Twitter Blue subscription service, the documents show.
“We are concerned these staff reductions impact Twitter’s ability to protect consumers’ information,” an FTC official wrote to Twitter’s lawyers on Nov. 10 following an initial wave of layoffs, according to a copy of the letter viewed by the Journal.
“Protecting consumers’ privacy is exactly what the FTC is supposed to do,” said FTC spokesman Douglas Farrar. The FTC routinely seeks information that companies under a consent order provide third parties, including journalists, on grounds that the company couldn’t withhold that same information from the FTC, Farrar said.