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FTC Unveils Policy Hearing Lineup

The Federal Trade Commission has released the schedule for its hearings looking at how it should enforce competition and consumer protection in the digital age.

The initial hearings will be Sept. 13 and 14 at Georgetown University Law Center, with opening remarks by FTC chair Joseph Simons.

Related: FTC Needs to Maintain Light Regulatory Touch

Initial topics of discussion over those two days will be "the current landscape of competition and consumer protection law and policy; whether the U.S. economy has become more concentrated and less competitive; the regulation of consumer data; antitrust law and the consumer welfare standard; and the analysis of vertical mergers."

The FTC will have a busy fall, with five more hearings over four different venues:

September 21, 2018
FTC Constitution Center
1. State of U.S. Antitrust Law
2. Mergers and Monopsony or Buyer Power

October 15-17, 2018
George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
1. The Identification and Analysis of Collusive, Exclusionary, and Predatory Conduct by Digital and Technology-Based Platform Businesses
2. Antitrust Framework for Evaluating Acquisitions of Potential or Nascent Competitors in Digital Marketplaces
3. Antitrust Evaluation of Labor Markets

October 23-24, 2018
FTC Constitution Center
1. Innovation and Intellectual Property Policy

November 6-7, 2018
American University Washington College of Law
1. Privacy, Big Data, and Competition

November 13-14, 2018
Howard University School of Law
1. Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics

The review is driven by "changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, and international developments" and how/whether enforcement needs to be updated to reflect those.

The tech changes are primarily the rise of the internet of everything and the international developments include the EU's new privacy framework--the FTC has been deeded new privacy oversight authority in the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as non-common carriers.