Americans Deserve a Transparent and Accountable FTC
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent actions are alarming and pose a serious threat to our economy.
American companies are already facing historic challenges with inflation, strained supply chains and worker shortages, and the FTC's actions are only accelerating uncertainty and threatening our economy.
Under Chairwoman Lina Khan, the FTC has radically departed from its core mission to protect consumers and competition.
Rather, the FTC is overstepping its regulatory authority, undermining our system of checks and balances, ignoring due process, and bypassing longstanding regulatory norms to expansively regulate industries and manage our economy with a government knows best approach.
Areas of Overreach
- Secret Rules, Secret VotesAllowing a former Commissioner to continue exercising voting powers – particularly with respect to contested matters – is not only bad government, it is unlawful.
- Investigations by fiatThe FTC abandoned its longstanding bipartisan approach to having all five FTC Commissioners cast votes on whether to authorize an antitrust investigation.
- Threats to legitimate businessesThe FTC fired off blanket warning letters to more than 1,800 businesses making it clear that they’d face civil fines for violating the law. This contrasts with the fact that the law only allows such fines to be imposed where companies are knowingly in violation.
- Blacklisting of companiesThe FTC is blacklisting some companies, requiring them to get “pre-approval” before merging.
- Embracing a “government knows best” approachUnder Chairwoman Khan, the FTC has shifted away from its long-standing, bipartisan strategic approach in pursuit of worrisome changes in process that are critical to legitimate enforcement of competition and consumer protection laws.
- Abandoning longstanding Section 5 guidanceBy abandoning its longstanding enforcement approach, known as Section 5 guidance, the FTC is refusing to keep consumers central to measuring harm to competition and eliminating any balancing test that weighs benefits against harms in the market.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Stands Up to FTC Going Rogue
Chamber CEO Clark: ‘The FTC is waging a war against American businesses, so the U.S. Chamber is fighting back’
Timeline of an Agency Gone Rogue
In 1914, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was created when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Trade Commission Act into law. Since its founding, the FTC has held a unique and multifaceted role in the U.S. administrative state and the economy.
- Jun 29, 2021
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce writes to express our concerns with the Open Meeting scheduled for July 1, 2021 that was noticed on June 24, 2021. Although the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has expressed its intention to “open the work of the Commission” to the public, the FTC has failed to provide meaningful notice or adequate opportunity to comment on the pending items to be voted upon on July 1.