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

 |  April 2, 2019

By Project DisCo

The FTC held its eleventh Hearing on Competition and Consumer Protection on March 25 and 26, 2019. The overall theme of the two-day hearing centered on the FTC’s role in a changing world.

Day 1
FTC Chairman Joseph Simons began the hearing, where he talked about the evolving digital world, with markets more interconnected and consumers more global. He then gave an overview of how the first day’s session would be structured:

“Today’s sessions will focus on the wide range of tools – statutory authority, best practices, MOUs, and international networks – that we use to accomplish our enforcement cooperation, and explore how to improve them. We will also examine the cross-border enforcement and policy issues raised by emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.”

William Kovacic, a Professor at the George Washington University Law School, set the tone of the hearings by noting that the FTC has been wrestling with and adjusting to new technological changes, such as the telephone and wireless, for decades. In discussing an international strategy, Professor Kovacic discussed the importance of human relationships between agencies to ensure cooperation, how the FTC could further its own goals through better disclosure of broader strategies and programs, in addition to educating foreign agencies on how the FTC functions, and how Congress could ensure a diverse talent pool at the FTC by hiring foreign employees.

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