The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sandeep Vaheesan:

Open Markets Applauds the FTC's New Landmark Policy Statement on Policing Unfair Methods of Competition Policy


The Open Markets Institute released the following statement from Legal Director Sandeep Vaheesan regarding the Federal Trade Commission's new policy statement on defining and policing "unfair methods of competition":

"The Open Markets Institute applauds the Federal Trade Commission for today's Policy Statement Regarding the Scope of Unfair Methods of Competition Under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

The Commission today announced a clean break with 40 years of blatant disregard for the rule of law. Since the early days of the Reagan Administration, the FTC minimized or neglected its statutory obligation to identify and challenge unfair methods of competition by large corporations, no matter how damaging to our democracy and society. Instead, commissioners warped the law to fit the framework of their preferred economic theories--theories never adopted in law by Congress. Today, the three Democratic commissioners demonstrated that they understand that it was the American people - acting through Congress - who created the Commission and vested it with broad competition powers, not a few Chicago School academics and advocates.

The FTC indicated it intends to use its power to police unfair methods of competition. Set up by Congress to serve as a national policymaker on fair competition and to reclaim power from the federal judiciary, the FTC can target unfair practices that hurt businesses, workers, and consumers. In today's statement, the Commission identified an array of practices that the FTC Act historically prohibited, including exclusive dealing, patent fraud, and tying.

Congress entrusted the FTC with the important mission of keeping our markets free of unfair competitive tactics. This is just the first step toward the Commission putting its full competition authority to use on behalf of the public. We look forward to further FTC action against unfair methods of competition in the form of lawsuits, rule makings, and public advocacy."

The Open Markets Institute works to address threats to our democracy, individual liberties, and our national security from today's unprecedented levels of corporate concentration and monopoly power. By combining policy, legal, and market structure expertise with sophisticated communications and outreach efforts, Open Markets seeks not only to hold today's monopolies accountable for abuse of power, but to rebuild an economic system where progress is easier to achieve, because power is far more widely and equitably distributed