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FTC Schedules Final Hearing on Competition and Consumer Protection

On May 31, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) posted the agenda for its final hearing in the “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century” series. The hearing will take place on June 12, 2019. The FTC has invited state attorneys general from 14 states to participate on a series of panels discussing “consumer protection and antitrust enforcement policy issues.” 

The involvement of state attorneys general in the FTC’s hearing is a reminder that often a state attorney general and the FTC will work closely together when evaluating or investigating antitrust or other consumer protection matters. Indeed, state attorneys general can often be more focused on antitrust conduct that will harm consumers in their respective states and have a better context for how conduct may (or may not) cause harm to those consumers. 

The hearing will also include a discussion of “error-cost considerations” (i.e., whether the cost of enforcement outweighs the benefits) and its role in influencing the “Commission’s case selection and advocacy agenda.” Error-cost considerations can assist an agency in making determinations on whether a particular enforcement action will have the appropriate deterrent effect—or, alternatively, stifle or chill innovation in a particular market. 

As always, the FTC invites comments relating to the topics being discussed.

©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.


About this Author

John Steren, Epstein Becker Law Firm, Health Care Litigation Attorney

E. John Steren is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation & Business Disputes practices, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. Mr. Steren devotes a significant portion of his practice to helping health care organizations manage the antitrust risks of joint ventures and other business arrangements. He also focuses his practice on other complex commercial and civil litigation matters.

Patricia M. Wagner, Epstein becker green, health care, life sciences

PATRICIA M. WAGNER is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, office. In 2014, Ms. Wagner was selected to the Washington DC Super Lawyers list in the area of Health Care.

Ms. Wagner's experience includes the following:

Advising clients on a variety of matters related to federal and state antitrust issues 

Representing clients in antitrust matters in front of the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of Justice, and state antitrust authorities 

Advising clients on issues related HIPAA Privacy and security

Advising clients on issues related to state licensure and regulatory requirements