Close this menu

New FTC Power Grab Renews Need for Congressional Oversight

WASHINGTON—Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced new guidance giving itself sweeping authority to challenge any business action it deems as “undermining competition.” It does so by lowering the requirements to bring enforcement actions against businesses engaged in what the Chair decides is “anticompetitive behavior.”

The FTC essentially just handed itself the power to use the force of government to bring lawsuits under a subjective standard, without any guidance or delegation from Congress. This is a radical departure from the existing consumer harm focus of the FTC and must be investigated by Congress.  

America already tried and rejected this approach. For more than fifty years, the U.S. has led the world in free market-based innovation, growth and success. But FTC Chair Lina Khan wants to undermine this growth and legislate from the executive branch.

This guidance will empower the Biden administration to take action against any business it doesn’t like. If a small, American business wants to make an acquisition to boost production or be acquired to better reach consumers, it now has to prove it “won’t harm competition.” 

“After losing in federal court and anticipating a big loss in the U.S. Supreme Court, Biden’s FTC is doing all it can to consolidate power,” said NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo. “This newest guidance is yet another example of how the FTC is being weaponized by this White House to advance political goals rather than focusing on its mandate to protect American consumers, and Congress must hold it to account.”

“Instead of focusing on its congressionally-delegated authority, Khan released this latest guidance to give the FTC more control over the U.S. economy. It will only expedite America’s path toward a financial slump by making it harder for businesses to grow and expand,” continued Szabo. “This turn away from a focus on consumer protection will undermine all American businesses and make it harder for small businesses to compete against large ones that can afford to battle regulators in court.”