FTC Announces Agenda for Section 5 Public Workshop on October 17, 2008

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The Federal Trade Commission today announced the agenda and panelists for its upcoming workshop on Section 5 of the FTC Act. The workshop will be held on October 17, 2008, and will consider the appropriate scope of Section 5’s prohibition on “unfair methods of competition.”

Four workshop panels will explore: 1) the history of Section 5, including its enactment by Congress (and subsequent interpretations by the Congress and the courts); 2) a range of possible legal interpretations of Section 5; 3) the application of these interpretations to various examples of business conduct, including the practical implications of enforcement actions; and 4) the application of Section 5 to competition issues involving standard-setting. In addition, three FTC Commissioners – Chairman William E. Kovacic, Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch, and Commissioner Jon Leibowitz – will address the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the FTC conference facilities at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., in Washington, DC. It is free and open to the public. People attending the workshop must present identification, but pre-registration is not required. The agenda describing each of the four panels and listing the panelists can be found on the workshop home page, http://www.ftc.gov/bc/workshops/section5/index.shtml.

Chairman Kovacic will make opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. The first panel, which will review the history of Section 5, will begin at 9:15. Speakers will include Marc Winerman, an attorney advisor to Chairman Kovacic; and Professor Stephen Calkins of Wayne State Law School.

The second panel, addressing various legal interpretations of Section 5, will begin at 10:15. The scheduled speakers include Robert Pitofsky, former Chairman of the FTC and Professor at Georgetown Law School; Professor Michael Salinger of the Boston University School of Management; Michael Antalics, a partner at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers; Professor William Page of the University of Florida College of Law; Professor Robert Lande of the University of Baltimore School of Law; and Professor Daniel Crane of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.

Commissioner Rosch will present remarks at 1:15 p.m, and the third panel, which will consider examples of business conduct, begins at 1:30. Speakers on the panel will include Susan Creighton, a partner at the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Thomas B. Leary, former FTC Commissioner and now of counsel at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson; Abbott (Tad) Lipsky, Jr., a partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins; David Balto, an attorney and former Assistant Director for Planning at the FTC; and Albert Foer, President of the American Antitrust Institute.

Commissioner Leibowitz will present remarks at 3:15, and the fourth panel, which will examine standard-setting, begins at 3:30. Its speakers will include Robert Skitol, a partner at the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath; Richard Taffet, a partner at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen; Geoffrey Oliver, a partner at the law firm of Jones Day; Scott Peterson, a patent specialist at the Hewlett-Packard Co.; Michael Lindsay, a partner at the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney; Jack Slobod, Senior Director, IP Licensing, Philips Electronics; and Amy Marasco, General Manager, Standards Strategy, Microsoft.

In conjunction with the workshop, the FTC seeks the views of the legal, academic, and business communities on the issues to be explored. A Federal Register notice, which can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/08/P083900section5.pdf, published August 28, 2008, poses a series of questions about which the FTC seeks written views and provides instructions for submitting comments. Any interested person may submit comments, which must be received by October 24, 2008.

Copies of the workshop agenda are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/workshops/section5/index.shtml. The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FTC File No. P083900)
(Section 5.2008.final.wpd)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161
STAFF CONTACT:
Neil W. Averitt,
Bureau of Competition
202-326-2885