The Federal Trade Commission will hold a series of public hearings during the fall and winter 2018 examining whether broad-based 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. The PDF version of this content includes footnotes and sources. All the hearings will be webcast live.
|#1||Sep. 13, 2018||Review of Competition and Consumer Protection Landscape; Concentration and Competitiveness in U.S. Economy; Privacy Regulation; Consumer Welfare Standard in Antitrust; Vertical Mergers||Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC|
|#2||Sep. 21, 2018||State of U.S. Antitrust Law; Mergers and Monopsony or Buyer Power||FTC Constitution Center, Washington, DC|
|#3||Oct. 15-17, 2018||The Identification and Analysis of Collusive, Exclusionary, and Predatory Conduct by Digital and Technology-Based Platform Businesses; Antitrust Framework for Evaluating Acquisitions of Potential or Nascent Competitors in Digital Marketplaces; Antitrust Evaluation of Labor Markets||George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, Arlington, VA|
|#4||Oct. 23-24, 2018||Innovation and Intellectual Property Policy||FTC Constitution Center, Washington, DC|
|#5||Nov. 6-7, 2018||Privacy, Big Data, and Competition||American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC|
|#6||Nov. 13-14, 2018||Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics||Howard University School of Law, Washington, DC|
Influence of the Pitofsky HearingsThe hearings will be similar in form and structure to the Global Competition and Innovation Hearings undertaken in 1995 during the Chairmanship of Robert Pitofsky. The Pitofsky Hearings were the first major step in establishing the FTC as a key modern center for competition policy research and development and sought to articulate recommendations that would effectively ensure the competitiveness of U.S. markets without imposing unnecessary costs on private parties or governmental processes.
The Pitofsky hearings re-energized one of the FTC’s most valuable functions – to gather leaders in business, economics, law, and related disciplines to discuss tough, emerging problems and prepare public reports on the facts, issues, governing law, and the need, as appropriate, for change.
Purpose of the hearings and public commentsThe hearings and public comment process will provide opportunities for FTC staff and leadership to listen to interested persons and outside experts representing a broad and diverse range of viewpoints. Additionally, the hearings will stimulate thoughtful internal and external evaluation of the FTC’s near- and long-term law enforcement and policy agenda. The hearings may identify areas for enforcement and policy guidance, including improvements to the agency’s investigation and law enforcement processes, as well as areas that warrant additional study.
The FTC has always been committed to self-examination and critical thinking, to ensure that our enforcement and policy efforts keep pace with changes in the economy.”FTC Chairman Joe Simons, June 20, 2018
- The Commission will invite comments on the topic covered in each hearing session. The FTC will issue a news release before each session to inform the public of the agenda, the date and location, and instructions on submitting comments.
- The Commission will also invite public comment upon completion of the entire series of hearings.
- Through August 20, 2018, the Commission accepted public comment on the topics identified in the announcement. Each topic description includes issues of particular interest to the Commission, but comments need not be restricted to these subjects.
The hearings will begin in September 2018 and are expected to continue through January 2019, and will consist of 15 to 20 public sessions. All hearings will be webcast, transcribed, and placed on the public record.
11 topics. Additional comments on each topic may be submitted to the FTC during the periods identified in subsequent news releases associated with individual hearings. Please see Public Comments Topics and Process to submit comments for topics open for comment related to specific hearings and to review past topics and public comments.
- FTC Announces Opening Session of Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century September 13-14 at Georgetown University Law Center (press release, August 24, 2018)
- FTC Announces Hearings On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century (press release, June 20, 2018)
- Prepared Remarks of Chairman Joe Simons Announcing the Competition and Consumer Protection Hearings (June 20, 2018)
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