Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley today made the following statement after the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) announcement that it was providing more guidance for businesses under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.  Section 5 provides authority for the FTC to enforce “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce….”
 
Grassley and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, along with other members of the Senate and House, sent a letter to the commission urging it to issue specific guidelines on the FTC’s authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.   In the letter, the members wrote, “The absence of clear parameters for the FTC’s Section 5 authority based on empirical and economic justifications engenders uncertainty in the business community.  This uncertainty acts as a deterrent to innovation and creativity, which are critical drivers of the American economy and are vitally important in today’s challenging economic environment.  Accordingly, articulating a standard by which the FTC intends to utilize its Section 5 unfair method of competition authority should be a high priority.”
 
Here is Grassley’s comment on today’s actions.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome development and a step forward for business owners who want to abide by the law.  It's hard for businesses to comply with Section 5 if it isn't clear what constitutes a violation of the law. Although I wish the commission had allowed for public comment, I appreciate the FTC taking the concerns of Congress into consideration as they wrote this new guidance.  We’ll continue to monitor the FTC’s enforcement of Section 5 to ensure that the commission is exercising its authority in an appropriate and consistent manner."

 

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