Mercatus Center at George Mason University
FTC to Host Public Workshop Examining the U.S. Auto Distribution System Workshop Will Explore Competition, State Regulations, and Emerging Trends in the Industry, Project No. P131202
The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) workshop examining the effects of state regulations on competition in motor vehicle distribution is timely and relevant. As deputy director of the FTC's Office of Policy Planning, I helped plan the FTC's 2002 workshop on anticompetitive barriers to electronic commerce, which included a panel on automobile distribution that examined some of the same state regulations the FTC is considering in the current workshop. More recently, a colleague at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and I published a short research summary, attached to this letter, that revisited the state regulatory issues. In brief, we found that state regulation of automobile distribution continues to protect established dealers at the expense of consumers by preventing manufacturers from experimenting with new distribution models. I have attached a comment letter that includes two recent publications covering relevant competition policy issues. Please let me know if I can furnish additional information or otherwise be of help to the commission or its staff.