TODAY: FTC TACKLES ANTITRUST LAW — The FTC kicks off its second set of sessions to discuss antitrust, market competition and consumer protection this morning. The event begins at 9 a.m. with remarks from Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter, followed by addresses from Nobel Laureate and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz and George Washington University scholar (and former FTC Chairman) William Kovacic. The hearing then breaks into panel sessions discussing “the state of U.S. antitrust law” and “monopsony & buyer power,” with academics, consumer privacy advocates and former officials.
— A little less conversation, a little more action? Sandeep Vaheesan, policy counsel for the Open Markets Institute, said the first FTC hearing “struck a note of complacency,” adding that he hopes today’s sessions allow for “more pro-enforcement voices.” Vaheesan, one of today’s panelists, argues the FTC needs to show it’s willing to flex its enforcement muscles. “I’m very concerned that they haven’t brought any action against Facebook over Cambridge Analytica,” he said. Michael Kades, director of markets and competition policy at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, told MT he’ll focus on how “antitrust laws aren’t fulfilling their purpose.” “Where we need to go in this debate is to examine the way in which than antitrust laws have been systematically weakened over the last 40 years,” he said.