SIIA Statement on Federal Trade Commission Policing Unfair Methods of Competition

This statement can be attributed to Chris Mohr, President, Software & Information Industry Association.

SIIA is extremely concerned by the direction the Federal Trade Commission is taking in the policy statement issued this morning advancing a completely novel approach to policing unfair methods of competition (UMC).  It represents a dramatic shift from established precedent and exceeds the Commission’s enforcement authority.

The Commission’s statement will affect businesses of all sizes in many industries, not just the tech and information industries. The new policy:

  • Violates the FTC Act by assuming powers that the Congress has never granted, either explicitly or implicitly;
  • Fails to provide clear guidance to businesses about how to navigate the new boundaries of what may or may not constitute illegal conduct;
  • Reflects a radical shift for the Commission away from its decade-long focus on protecting the welfare of consumers; and
  • Raises doubts about the current FTC majority’s commitment to due process and the rule of law.

Chair Kahn has publicly committed to transparency. It is therefore deeply concerning that the Commission has issued this statement without any input from the public and dramatically shifted the Commission’s approach in a manner that creates significant business and consumer uncertainty. We strongly recommend that the Commission commence a formal process to seek input from consumer and business stakeholders and rescind the statement pending public input.

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