November 29, 2022

Volume XII, Number 333

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November 28, 2022

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FTC Testimony to Senate—with a Dissent

On September 20, 2022, the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights on “Oversight of the Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws.” However, for the first time in at least 24 such hearings, two of the Commissioners felt compelled to file a dissenting statement.

While the dissenting Commissioners supported the Chair’s comments related to some FTC efforts, they took issue with many of the Chair’s other comments. For example, they objected to the Chair’s characterization of merger enforcement (noting that enforcement was strong in the prior administration), the characterization of a consolidated labor market (pointing out that empirical evidence showed just the opposite), and the claims of increasing concentration (stating that such claims “are neither based on markets within which competition takes place, nor on their own indicative of lessened competition”). The dissenting Commissioners also refused to endorse a suggestion to “convert antitrust law from 132 years of statutes and adjudicated court decisions to regulations” (saying the FTC lacked authority to do so).

Ultimately, what was most noteworthy about the dissent was that there was one at all, demonstrating a lack of consensus among the Commissioners on issues that will drive antitrust policy.

©2022 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 272
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About this Author

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

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.

202-861-1825
Patricia M. Wagner, Epstein becker green, health care, life sciences
Member

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...

202-861-4182
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