Antitrust

07/21/2021

Federal Trade Commission Continues its Departure from Consumer Welfare

Carl Szabo
Carl Szabo Vice President and General Counsel

Despite its historic status as a neutral enforcer of consumer protection, the Federal Trade Commission has taken yet another step away from protecting Americans’ best interests. At its most recent open meeting, the votes continued to highlight a prioritization of ideology over consumer protections.

Today, NetChoice announced disapproval of the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to rescind the policy statement on Prior Approval and Prior Notice Provisions in Merger Cases, which will greatly expand the regulatory burden and uncertainty felt by American businesses.

“It’s discouraging to hear the FTC publicly embrace the language of transparency while also making extreme procedural changes to limit the input of staff, stakeholders, and the public,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “While much of the attention has been on the more flagrant substantive changes by Chair Khan, these more procedural ones will also effectively hamstring the FTC and America’s competitive edge in our increasingly global world.”

“With today’s votes, we now see that under Chair Khan, the FTC is no longer focused on protecting consumers and American innovation, but prefers to be unpredictable, onerous, and ideological,” continued Szabo. “Congress should ensure that important guardrails exist to protect the FTC becoming a Pandora’s box that lacks predictability, cooperation, and transparency under Chair Khan. American consumers will ultimately suffer if FTC makes it even harder for American citizens to trust the commission and for America’s businesses to adhere to FTC requirements.”

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