USCC Rulemaking Petition to Amend Rule 4 17


September 13, 2023


Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting formal rule changes to the Commission’s recusal process to disqualify commissioners in matters in which they may have a conflict of interest.

“The Federal Trade Commission serves an important role in the American economy by enforcing antitrust and consumer protection law,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Sean Heather. “As a federal agency, the FTC is unique in the fact that it can both prosecute and decide cases against companies. Given the substantial power vested in the agency, it is important that agency rulemaking and judicial proceedings follow a clear process to retain the public trust.

“Unfortunately, Chair Lina Khan’s failure to be open, forthcoming, and accountable for her decision to ignore FTC ethics officials’ advice to recuse herself in the Meta case gives rise to the need for the petition we filed today, and it's why the FTC must now adopt a rule to formalize its recusal process.”

The Chamber’s petition, if adopted, would modernize the process surrounding recusal decisions at the agency to improve their transparency. Specifically, they would require commissioners to:

  • Formally recognize impartiality concerns around prejudgment extend beyond mere financial conflicts of interest.
  • Require they seek and receive written legal guidance of agency ethics officials.
  • Disclose in writing the rationale for any decisions to decline to follow therecommendations of agency ethics officials.

The Chamber’s full petition can be found here.

USCC Rulemaking Petition to Amend Rule 4 17