After months of speculation, we now know what rules the FTC will launch or possibly amend in 2022, thanks to a Statement of Regulatory Priorities the FTC published December 9.

The headlines? In addition to reviewing or taking action on almost 20 existing rules and guides, the FTC plans to develop multiple new rules on surveillance, unfair methods of competition, and potentially a slew of other issues. And the Republican Commissioners are crying foul.

New rules  

The new rules highlighted in the FTC’s Statement pack a whole lot of punch, as they encompass multiple issues and could lead to multiple separate rules. They include:

  • Rule(s) to halt “abuses stemming from surveillance-based business models,” which could curb “lax security practices” and “intrusive surveillance,” and “ensur[e] that algorithmic decision-making does not result in unlawful discrimination.” The FTC’s Statement signals that these rule(s) will address both consumer protection and competition issues.
  • Rules defining “unfair methods of competition,” which could include (citing the President’s Executive Order on Competition) rules related to “non-compete clauses, surveillance, the right to repair, pay-for-delay pharmaceutical agreements, unfair competition in online marketplaces, occupational licensing, real-estate listing and brokerage, and industry-specific practices that substantially inhibit competition.”
  • Rules to “define with specificity unfair or deceptive acts or practices” – a potentially infinite category of issues and regulations.

As the FTC explains, the agency’s renewed focus on rulemaking is a response to “changed circumstances,” including the Supreme Court’s AMG ruling (limiting the FTC’s redress authority), the insufficiency of the “case-by-case” approach to competition, and the FTC’s removal of steps in its Section 18 (Mag-Moss) rulemaking process. Notably, when the FTC is enforcing a rule, it can seek consumer redress and/or civil penalties; this authority was not affected by AMG.
Continue Reading What Rulemaking is the FTC planning for 2022? Now We Know

As we reported last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) is considering proposed changes to the rules that restrict the Commission’s ability to disclose information about a consumer product to the public (either on its own or in response to a Freedom of Information Act request) without first notifying the manufacturer.  The

On January 14, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) published proposed changes to the rules that restrict the Commission’s ability to disclose information about a consumer product to the public (either on its own or in response to a Freedom of Information Act request) without first notifying the manufacturer. In the Briefing Package,