WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today released a very significant policy statement making clear that the agency will use its long-muzzled legal authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to police unfair methods of competition. In the modern era, the FTC has refused to seriously use its Section 5 authority to pursue anticompetitive behavior beyond what is understood as illegal under the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Matt Kent, competition policy advocate for Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“The FTC’s policy statement lays out, in detail, the robust power of federal government to limit anticompetitive corporate behavior. For too long, the FTC has adhered to self-imposed limits on the substantial authority granted by Congress to address unfair methods of competition.
“The crucial set of policy principles put forth in the document highlight neglected U.S. Supreme Court precedents that were previously ignored by business-friendly commissions. It’s a credit to Chairwoman Khan, commissioners Slaughter and Bedoya, and staff for working to issue such an incisive and important legal interpretation.”