Legal Memorandum posted May 20, 2015
You Don’t Need the FCC: How the FTC Can Successfully Police Broadband-Related Internet Abuses
On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose 1930s-era “common carrier” regulations on Internet providers by enacting an “Open Internet Order.” As a Heritage Foundation analysis points out, this decision threatens to generate hundreds of new rules that will raise the costs of Internet firms, deter innovation, and reduce competition among…
Legal Memorandum posted March 30, 2015
North Carolina Dental Board and the Reform of State-Sponsored Protectionism
On February 25, 2015, in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC (North Carolina Dental Board), the Supreme Court of the United States struck a blow for consumers and economic freedom. The case involved a North Carolina statute prohibiting non-dentists, including dental assistants, from whitening patients’ teeth and granting a board that included…
Legal Memorandum posted March 13, 2015
King v. Burwell and the Mandates: What Happens If the Supreme Court Rules Against the Administration?
On March 4, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in King v. Burwell. This case is a challenge by individuals (petitioners) who do not wish to comply with the so-called minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).
If the plaintiffs are successful, an Obama Administration rule granting certain…
Legal Memorandum posted March 4, 2015
Patent Policy Change Would Undermine Property Rights and Innovation
American standard-setting organizations (SSOs), which are private sector–based associations through which businesses come together to set voluntary industrial standards, confer great benefits on the modern economy. They enable virtually all products that we rely upon in modern society (including mechanical, electrical, information, telecommunications, and other systems)…
Legal Memorandum posted December 11, 2014
Constitutional Constraints on Federal Antitrust Law
America’s antitrust laws have long held a special status in the federal statutory hierarchy. The Supreme Court of the United States, for example, has famously stated that the “[a]ntitrust laws in general, and the Sherman Act in particular, are the Magna Carta of free enterprise.” Thus, a decision not to apply the antitrust laws to a particular type of conduct…
Legal Memorandum posted October 29, 2014
Time to Reform FTC Advertising Regulation
Advertising is a boon to the American economy. By informing large numbers of consumers about the attributes of goods and services, it helps to create broad markets for those products, generating economies of scale that lower cost and prices.
Information embedded in advertising allows consumers to make better choices in the marketplace, benefiting ultimate purchasers…
Legal Memorandum posted September 10, 2014
The Federal Trade Commission’s Role in Online Security: Data Protector or Dictator?
Background: The Online Data Security Problem
While the phrase “identity theft” typically brings to mind stolen credit cards and false identity badges, another key area where privacy violations can occur is less visible but equally insidious: corporate data breaches. Companies’ online data protection practices have a major impact on consumer privacy. Target’s 2013…