Washington –The Federal Trade Commission has asked for public comments on a variety of competition and consumer protection-related issues. The topics range from antitrust enforcement in the digital age to big data and privacy to how intellectual property can promote innovation. The request for information proceeds a series of hearings the Commission plans this fall, “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century.”

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which has advocated on the pro-competition side of tech antitrust cases for more than 45 years, filed comments saying competition and privacy policies should continue to ensure that consumers are protected and enforcement actions should not chill incentives to innovate.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

Antitrust law is too important to be politicized. It is unfortunate there is a small, vocal chorus who want the FTC to alter its long standing focus on protecting consumers to instead protecting particular companies or business models. What has made this country the focal point of the digital economy is that our laws promote innovation — even disruptive innovation — because they protect consumers from harm, rather than competitors from competition.”  

The following can be attributed to CCIA Director of Competition Marianela López-Galdos:

“The FTC should continue to devote resources and efforts to advocate for sound competition law enforcement, informed by economics, to the benefit of consumers worldwide. The current US antitrust framework, when applied correctly, is well equipped to deal with 21st Century developments like multi-sided business models. To do this, the FTC will need to continue to enforce the antitrust laws relying on evidence and economic analysis to determine whether consumers are being harmed and whether innovation is thriving.”

CCIA offered the FTC comments on the following issues: (See hyperlinks for our response to each topic)

  • Topic 1: The state of antitrust and consumer protection law and enforcement, and their development since the Pitofsky hearings
  • Topic 2: Competition and consumer protection issues in communication, information and media technology networks
  • Topic 3: The identification and measure of market power and entry barriers and the evaluation of collusive, exclusionary or predatory conduct or conduct that violates the consumer protection statutes enforced by the FTC in markets featuring ‘platform’ businesses.
  • Topic 4: The intersection between privacy, big data and competition
  • Topic 5: The Commission’s remedial authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in privacy and data security matters
  • Topic 6: Evaluating the competitive effects of corporate acquisitions and mergers
  • Topic 8: The role of intellectual property and competition policy in promoting innovation
  • Topic 9: The consumer welfare implications associated with the use of algorithmic decision tools, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics
  • Topic 10: The interpretation and harmonization of state and federal statutes and regulations that prohibit unfair and deceptive acts and practices
  • Topic 11: The efficacy of agency’s investigation, enforcement and remedial processes

 

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