On September 13, Georgetown hosted the first of the FTC's hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. Among a range of distinguished speakers, the event included Georgetown Professors David Vladeck, former Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Howard Shelanski, former Head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and former Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics.
The hearing was the first in a series the FTC will hold in the coming months to examine how changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, and international developments impact enforcement priorities and the landscape for competition and consumer protection law.
The session’s agenda included:
The current landscape of competition and consumer protection law and policy
Whether the U.S. economy has become more concentrated and less competitive
The regulation of consumer data
Antitrust law and the consumer welfare standard
The analysis of vertical mergers
In opening remarks, Chairman Joe Simons explained his hope that the hearings, among other goals, will improve consensus on antitrust. Professor Vladeck stressed the need to strengthen the FTC's expertise and tools to better address the challenges presented by new technologies.
You can see coverage from the hearing on Twitter at #FTChearings, and the video recording of the event is available here.