Guiding Section 5: Comments on the Commissioners

Steven Salop, Sep 16, 2013

FTC Commissioners Joshua Wright and Maureen Ohlhausen have proposed that the Commission adopt Guidelines for the application of Section 5 to Unfair Methods of Competition (“UMC”). These UMC Guidelines would apply to non-merger conduct that may not violate the Sherman Act. Agency Guidelines can provide a useful role in defining the scope of agency enforcement intentions and providing guidance to the business community, outside counsel, and agency staff. They also can lead to more refined legal standards. This short note will comment on the role of Section 5 distinct from the Sherman Act and how this relates to the Commissioners’ proposed Guidelines.

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