Remember 1997? Cellphones had antennas and DVDs were the next new thing. Maybe you “surfed the Web,” but more likely not: only 18 percent of U.S. households had a computer connected to the Internet, according to the Census Bureau.
Every new year brings an opportunity for reflection on the past and the future. 2014 is a milestone for the Federal Trade Commission as it marks 100 years since President Woodrow Wilson signed the FTC Act into law. We will be commemorating our centennial throughout the year by reflecting on our history of fostering honest business practices and robust competition in the marketplace.
Today, five years post-consummation, the Commission approved Polypore International, Inc.’s application to sell Microporous, a competitor it purchased in 2008. Polypore was ordered to divest the entire business it had purchased after the Commission determined that the merger had substantially lessened competition in violation of the antitrust laws.
Each year, the Premerger Notification Office answers thousands of letters, phone calls, and emails regarding the Hart-Scott-Rodino rules, giving informal advice on the potential reportability of transactions and help in completing the HSR Notification and Report Form.
When faced with a major illness, patients usually want the best medicine available, regardless of cost. In some cases, next-generation “biologic” medicines may be the best treatments available. Unfortunately, these critical treatments can be very expensive. For example, Herceptin, used to treat breast cancer, can cost more than $50,000 a year; Remicade, which treats rheumatoid arthritis, more than $10,000 a year.
With the agency’s 100th anniversary just around the corner, we’re giving the public an updated FTC.gov. The revised site provides better access to information about us and our efforts to protect consumers and promote competition.
When we designed the site, we listened to advice from lots of regular people, as well as experts in the competition and consumer protection communities. The result? An overhauled FTC.gov that is more powerful, easy to use and attractive.
Welcome to Competition Matters, the FTC’s newest blog for all things competition. We hope to become your go-to spot for the latest insights and events from the Bureau of Competition, the Bureau of Economics, and the Office of Policy Planning. We’ll also have occasional missives from our Office of International Affairs on their work to build cooperative relationships with foreign enforcement agencies, and to promote sound approaches to common problems. Along the way, we’ll highlight offerings by competition folks throughout the agency that may not get front page attention.