Preliminary Version--June 29, 1995(1)
Federal Trade Commission
Hearings on the Changing Nature of Competition
These hearings are devoted to assessing whether antitrust and consumer protection enforcement require adjustments in order to keep up with changes in competitive circumstances as we approach the 21st century. The central principles of antitrust and consumer protection law continue to ensure that competition is maintained and that consumers are provided with the truthful, nondeceptive information necessary to make informed choices. Indeed, there is general agreement that antitrust and consumer protection enforcement ensuring the preservation of vigorous competition in domestic markets best facilitates international competitiveness and advancements in innovation-driven industries. Questions have been raised, however, as to whether antitrust and consumer protection enforcement should make adjustments to account for changes in the nature of global and innovation-based competition.
The Commission is examining its role in enforcing antitrust and consumer protection laws in light of the above issues. The Commission expects that the hearings will provide the information necessary to determine what, if any, adjustments may be desirable. It should be kept in mind that simply raising an issue does not indicate that any change is necessary or appropriate. Following the hearings, the Commission intends to issue a report, which may indicate changes it intends to adopt or areas for further study or coordinated action with the Department of Justice.
- Topic 1: What Changes in the Nature of Competition Have Taken Place, and What Changes in Antitrust or Consumer Protection Approaches Might Be Appropriate in Response?
- Topic 2: Are There Additional Market Definition Techniques That Might be Appropriate In Order to Account Fully for Global Competition and Innovation Concerns?
- Topic 3: How Should Antitrust Enforcers Assess the Likelihood of Entry in Light of Global Competition and Innovation Issues?
- Topic 4: Does Current U.S Antitrust Analysis Adequately Take Into Account Efficiencies in Merger and Nonmerger Areas in Light of Global Competition and Innovation?
- Topic 5: What Are The Merits and Demerits of the Current Antitrust Treatment of Failing Firms or Distressed Industries?
- Topic 6: Do Current Antitrust and Consumer Protection Regimes Operate So As Not to Impair Unnecessarily the Ability of Small Businesses to Compete in a Changing Global, Innovation-Based Economy? Topic 7: What Is the Optimal Relationship of Antitrust to Intellectual Property Law in Light of Global Competition and Innovation?
- Topic 8: How Should Antitrust Enforcers Assess Foreclosure, Access and Efficiency Issues Related to Networks and Standards?
- Topic 9: What Other Types of Strategic Conduct Are Possible in the Context of Innovation-Based Competition? How Should Antitrust Assess Such Conduct?
- Topic 10: What New Consumer Protection Issues Are Emerging In A Global, Innovation-Based Marketplace?
- Topic 11: What Institutional Processes Will Help the FTC To Attain Its Goals?
1.This agenda is a draft and has not received Commission approval.