Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it will host a series of public hearings on whether “broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy.”
FTC Chairman Joe Simons noted that “important and significant questions recently have been raised about whether we should rethink our approach to some of these issues,” and expressed that “[w]e are excited about this new hearings project, and anticipate and look forward to substantial participation from our stakeholders.”
The FTC’s press release noted that the “multi-day, multi-part hearings” will be similar to the FTC’s “Global Competition and Innovation Hearings,” which took place in 1995 at the direction of then-Chairman Robert Pitofsky. Those hearings were held to address “whether there have been broad-based changes in the contemporary competitive environment that require any adjustments in antitrust and consumer protection enforcement in order to keep pace with those changes.” The 1995 hearings resulted in a two-volume report, released in May 1996, articulating the FTC’s analysis and recommendations on competition and consumer protection policy.
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