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 GoodlattePress: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself USCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids MORE (Va.) and Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high McConnell: Time to restart coronavirus talks GOP Finance chairman raises concerns about Trump push to make payroll-tax deferral permanent 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.