ILR Comments to Federal Trade Commission on Consent Decrees

Friday, June 28, 2019 - 12:00pm

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (“ILR”) is pleased to submit this response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC” or “the Commission”) public notice seeking comments regarding its hearings concerning Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, Project Number P181201.

ILR is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is the world’s largest business federation, representing the interests of more than three million companies across different sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. ILR is dedicated to making our nation’s civil legal system simpler, faster, and fairer for all participants.

ILR applauds the FTC for engaging in a substantial examination of whether changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection law, enforcement priorities, and policy.

ILR particularly appreciates the questions raised in the April 2019 hearings regarding the FTC’s legal framework for privacy and the tradeoffs between ex ante regulatory and ex post enforcement approaches for privacy protection.

ILR encourages the FTC to consider the shortcomings of its current use of consent orders not merely for privacy protection, but all FTC Act Section 5 enforcement. Although a consent order may be a useful tool for resolving an individual case, the Commission’s current consent order use does little to provide fair notice of the Commission’s interpretation of the laws it enforces.