Press Release | July 01, 2021

FTC’s Decision on Competition Policy Hurts Innovators and Moves Away from Protecting Consumers, CTA Says

Laura Ambrosio
The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) July meeting, which included a vote on rescinding its 2015 policy statement on unfair methods of competition: 
“We are sad to see the FTC move forward with a party-line vote to rescind the Obama-era competition policy statement. This seems to be the first step in moving competition policy away from the consumer welfare standard, which for years has enabled U.S. world-leading innovation by focusing on what is best for consumers rather than legacy businesses using government to protect them from new entrants and innovators. The consumer welfare standard grounds competition policy in objective facts and evidence. By protecting consumers rather than competitors, we ensure antitrust decisions are not subjective or political. 
“Our nation's economic success has relied upon disruptive innovation. Favoring other competitors may provide short-term gains in preserving older companies and industry jobs, but in the long run it chokes American economic growth and pushes us toward a slower growth European model.
“Other nations without consumer-based standards have fallen behind in innovation and have fewer world-leading companies. The FTC’s hasty decision to abandon the consumer welfare standard – especially as we face unprecedented global competition in the tech sector and beyond – is a grave mistake.”