March 2014

Traditions and change

Spring is a special time in Washington. Since the first trees were planted around the Tidal Basin in 1912, viewing the cherry blossoms has become a Washington tradition.

Another spring tradition: the Bureau Director’s annual report to the gathering of antitrust lawyers and economists in town for the ABA’s Antitrust Law Spring Meeting. This year, it is my privilege to report on the activities and accomplishments of the Bureau’s 300 lawyers and support staff. 

A good deal

On any given Sunday in Illinois, consumers can do their weekly shopping at various “brick and mortar” stores or turn to online vendors virtually 24-7. They can even purchase alcohol on Sunday after 11:00 a.m. But for decades they have been barred by law from purchasing a new or used automobile from a licensed car dealer.

A license that is more than a license

Today, the Commission accepted for public comment a proposed order designed to preserve competition after the merger of CoreLogic and DataQuick, two of only three firms that license national assessor and recorder bulk data. The proposed order does this by facilitating the entry of RealtyTrac to replace the loss of DataQuick as an independent competitor.

The PNO is moving!

On April 28, the PNO will move to its new offices on the fifth floor of Constitution Center, located at the corner of 7th and D Streets SW above the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station. We hope to make this a seamless transition with no interruption in our ability to receive filings. We will continue to accept filings at the current location in the FTC HQ office on the third floor up until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25, and reopen on the fifth floor of the Constitution Center at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 28.

Preserving competition among hometown hospitals

In cities and towns throughout the U.S., hospitals are a key part of the health care delivery system. Every day, Americans seek care from their local hospital at significant and vulnerable times, from the birth of a baby to treatment for a serious illness. The FTC works to promote competition in health care markets, including hospital services, because vigorous competition promotes the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective health care.

The doctor (or nurse practitioner) will see you now: Competition and the regulation of advanced practice nurses

The FTC employs many experts in competition, consumer protection, and economics. We embrace our special role in helping other policymakers understand how the competitive process benefits consumers, and encouraging them to adopt rules that promote competition.