FTC Hearings #11: The FTC’s Role in a Changing World

April 2019

NORTH AMERICA COLUMN BANNER

FTC Hearings #11: The FTC’s Role in a Changing World By Nathan Chubb (Baker Botts)1

The FTC conducted its 11th hearing in its Hearings initiative on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century with a two-day hearing at the FTC headquarters in Washington, D.C. on March 25-26. The hearing centered on the FTC’s role in international antitrust, consumer protection, and privacy enforcement, evaluating the FTC’s successes and failures, and discussing potential future shifts in the FTC’s approach to international engagement.

The panelists were from around the world and represented universities, corporations, law firms, and numerous government agencies. This diverse set of panelists engaged in lively discussion and often emphasized different roles, tools, and priorities for the FTC going forward.

FTC Chairman Joseph Simons opened the hearing by remarking that significant changes to the global economy and the proliferation of competition agencies around the world have necessitated the FTC’s global engagement, in large part to assist less mature agencies in developing the enforcement tools and techniques necessary to benefit consumers. Chairman Simons’ sentiments were underscored by William Kovacic, Global Competition professor at George Washington University Law School. Professor Kovacic discussed how other countries have restructured consumer protection, competition, and privacy regulation in light of the changing global economy and increasing …

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