In This Issue

Section 13(b) of the FTC Act at the Supreme Court: The Middle Ground

Former FTC Chairman Tim Muris and Former Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau Howard Beales, along with Benjamin Mundel, look at the soon-to-be-argued Supreme Court case that may well determine whether the FTC will retain its consumer redress authority, at least for actions initially filed in federal court. The authors argue that both sides are wrong. Instead, they propose a middle ground: the FTC’s redress authority should be limited to cases that involve fraud and should not extend to routine “advertising substantiation” cases.

Consumer Protection Enforcement: Taking It Up a Notch

FTC Chairman Joe Simons and Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau Andrew Smith reflect on various FTC consumer protection enforcement initiatives. These include increased use of individual liability, aggressive use of monetary penalties, including the largest ever civil penalty, use of consumer redress even in situations where calculating consumer harm is more difficult, and the strengthening of order provisions, particularly with respect to privacy-related orders.

The Hutchison Judgment: A Rare Judicial Strike Against the European Commission’s Approach to Merger Assessments

David Cardwell analyzes the recent judgment of the EU General Court in CK Telecoms UK Investments Ltd v. Commission, which comprehensively annuls the European Commission’s 2016 decision to prohibit the proposed merger of two of the UK’s cellular network operators. He concludes that the Court’s decision potentially has significant implications for the Commission’s approach to future transactions in oligopolistic markets.