CCIA Comments On FTC Vote To Expand Its Scope, Mission

July 1, 2021

Washington — The FTC held its first open meeting under Chairwoman Lina Khan’s leadership Thursday. The commissioners approved a dramatic change to the policy framework that guides the FTC’s enforcement decisions by rescinding the “Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding ‘Unfair Methods of Competition’ Under Section 5 of the FTC Act.” 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has a nearly 50 year history of advocating for competition in the tech industry and submitted comments  to the FTC on this ahead of its meeting. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“While CCIA appreciates the FTC’s efforts to enhance transparency by holding an open meeting, the agency should have engaged in more constructive discussions before rescinding the Section 5 bipartisan Policy Statement that brought legal certainty to antitrust enforcement. The FTC’s mandate to protect consumers will not be served by rescinding the Section 5 Policy Statement.

“For many years, Section 5 of the FTC Act’s lack of policy guidelines led the FTC to lose many cases in court, while raising compliance challenges for businesses.  Today’s partisan decision to get rid of the bipartisan framework adopted in 2015 risks undermining competition enforcement, and represents a step backwards for the future of the FTC as an enforcement agency.

“The FTC’s action overturns a bipartisan consensus on the limits of the agency’s enforcement actions, increases legal uncertainty,  and threatens to add an unnecessary regulatory compliance cost for American businesses.”

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