Judiciary Republicans ask FTC for clarity on competition policy

House and Senate Judiciary Republicans have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to clarify what it considers to be anti-competitive behavior.

In the past, the FTC has used its authority to investigate tech companies, including Google. This year, Republicans — including the agency’s commissioners Maureen Ohlhausen and Joshua Wright — have called on the agency to publish a policy statement on the kinds of anti-competitive behavior it would take action against.

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A group of eight Republicans — including House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTop Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview It’s time for Congress to pass an anti-cruelty statute DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling MORE (Va.) and Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Bipartisan senators reveal sweeping health care package MORE (Iowa)  — echoed those calls in a letter Wednesday, saying the FTC would help the business community by issuing more guidance on anti-competitive behavior.

Without a clear policy statement from the FTC, businesses are left with an uncertainty that “acts as a deterrent to innovation and creativity, which are critical drivers of the American economy and are vitally important in today’s challenging environment,” the letter said.

“Antitrust laws and their enforcement should be transparency, fair, predictable and reasonable stable over time,” they wrote. More guidance from the agency “will allow businesses to develop lawful competition policies and encourage critical innovation.”

Issuing a policy statement on the issue “should be a high priority” for the agency, the lawmakers said.