US Republicans Say ‘Not So Quick’ To Restore FTC Power To Recover Ill-gotten Gains By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind the dome of the US Capitol in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans at a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss restoring the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to recoup ill-gotten profits from companies deemed deceptive expressed doubts about the speedy approval of a bill of law. law unless it places some limitations on the agency. Representative Gus Bilirakis told a hearing before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce that the FTC had a history of “overreaching,” without elaborating, and urged that “guardrails” be put in the legislation. . Representatives Neal Dunn and Greg Pence also urged that “guardrails” be added to the bill, but did not say what they were, although there was discussion at the hearing on a statute of limitations for wrongdoing. The bill can be passed by the House of Representatives without Republican support, but it will need some Republicans in the Senate, which requires 60 votes to finish debate and go to a vote. The hearing was called in the wake of a Supreme Court decision last week that made it more difficult for the FTC to recover lost funds by ruling that the agency was misusing a measure designed to stop bad behavior, not recover. money. Representative Tony Cardenas, along with other Democrats, has introduced a bill to restore that ability. The US Chamber of Commerce has also opposed the bill in its current form. FTC Acting President Rebecca Slaughter argued at the hearing that the agency had 24 cases in federal court based on 13 (b) authority that was the subject of the Supreme Court ruling. The cases could return $ 2.4 billion to affected consumers, he said. Among the active cases are an FTC fight with Nerium International, an alleged pyramid scheme later known as Neora, and Lending Club, which advertised “no hidden fees” and then allegedly charged hidden fees. It also includes four antitrust cases, including one in which jailed “pharmacist brother” Martin Shkreli is accused of violating antitrust law to increase the price of a life-saving drug, the FTC said.

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