In a combination of moves, the United States Senate has not only broken the partisan deadlock at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by approving the nomination of Alvaro M. Bedoya, but has also seen its commerce committee push forward a bill that would restore the FTC’s consumer refund power. Both actions could spark major regulatory changes into the future. Two articles (linked below) speak to both of these major developments.
With regard to Bedoya’s nomination, a New York Times article states:
“The confirmation of a third Democrat to the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday broke a partisan deadlock at the agency. That’s good news for Lina Khan, the agency’s chair and a Democrat.
It is also a test.
With the F.T.C.’s new Democratic majority — which came with the confirmation of Alvaro Bedoya, who becomes the fifth commissioner, in a slot that had been vacant since October — Ms. Khan’s allies and critics are watching to see if she pushes forward plans to address corporate power. That could include filing an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, setting online privacy rules and tapping little-used agency powers to clip the wings of companies like Meta, Apple and Google.
As Congress remains gridlocked and the midterm elections near, agencies like the F.T.C. and the Department of Justice are likely the best remaining hope for activists and policymakers who want the government to restrain corporate power. President Biden, who has promised to crack down, last year ordered the F.T.C. and other federal agencies to take steps to limit concentration.”
To read the full article from the New York Times, click here.
And according to a Reuters’ article in reference to the proposed bill:
“U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday sent to the Senate floor a Democratic-backed bill that would allow the Federal Trade Commission to force deceptive companies to return money to victims.
The Senate Commerce Committee split 14-14 along party lines to advance the bill, which would restore a power stripped from the FTC in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year. The measure moves to a full Senate vote despite the tie vote.
It was formally introduced in the Senate, where Democrats have narrow control, last week with only Democratic sponsors. read more The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed similar legislation last year.
If it becomes law, the bill would explicitly give the FTC the right to ask a judge to order money be returned, even if illegal conduct has halted.”
To read the full article from Reuters, click here.