How to Reboot the FTC

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Media Outlet: Politico

Lina Khan wrote for Politico about rebooting the FTC to fight industry consolidation and restore competition in the American economy:

Over the past century, the Federal Trade Commission has never been as vital as it is today. Industries across the American economy are dominated by monopolistic and oligopolistic firms. Yet at this key moment, the FTC is an agency adrift, squandering resources on trivial cases while failing to address the structural lack of competition that afflicts our economy.
Last month, the FTC hit a new level of crisis with the departure of Commissioner Julie Brill, leaving two of the agency’s five leadership seats now vacant. But the predicament also represents an opportunity to reinvigorate the agency by appointing reformers committed to putting the agency’s powerful tools to full use. The FTC’s current approach to competition policy isn’t up to the challenges of the 21st century. In many ways, it still reflects the ideas responsible for such extreme consolidation in the first place.
The stakes are high. Thanks to a combination of permissive regulatory policy and a swiftly changing business environment, the FTC has overseen an era of intense industry consolidation and the emergence of new threats to competition. If it doesn’t reform soon, the agency risks becoming irrelevant at the very moment the country needs it most. 

Author:

Lina Khan was a fellow with the Open Markets program at New America, where she researched the concentration of power in America’s political economy and the evolution of antitrust laws.