US Chamber of Commerce accuses FTC of ‘waging war’ against business



The US Chamber of Commerce on Friday slammed the Biden administration’s Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan, accusing her and the FTC of “waging a war against American businesses.”

“The FTC is waging a war against American businesses, so the U.S. Chamber is fighting back to protect free enterprise, American competitiveness, and economic growth,” said Suzanne Clark, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

“The FTC’s radical departure from its core mission under Chairwoman Khan is deeply concerning to our members across the business ecosystem. American companies are facing historic challenges with inflation, strained supply chains and worker shortages, while the FTC is going rogue and engaging in regulatory overreach that is accelerating uncertainty and threatening our fragile economic recovery.”  

The Chamber sent three letters to the FTC dated Friday in which they cited potential breaches of administrative procedure that it said could be challenged in court.

Lina Khan
The US Chamber of Commerce said the FTC has departed from its core mission under Khan’s leadership.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

The Chamber said it also filed more than 30 Freedom of Information Act requests with the FTC for “information on how it has manipulated its rules and procedures while potentially ceding its independent agency status to political interference.”

The documents requested through FOIA requests would likely include internal communications within the agency.

“Today, the Chamber is putting the FTC on notice that we will use every tool at our disposal, including litigation, to stop its abuse of power, to stand up for due process, and to protect the free enterprise system and America’s vibrant economy,” Clark said.

“And we will work with policymakers on Capitol Hill to hold the commission accountable.” 

Ever since President Joe Biden nominated Khan to the role of FTC chairwoman, her left-leaning antitrust views have stoked controversy among corporate America and made her a darling of progressive politicians.

Both Amazon and Facebook have asked the FTC to recuse Khan from any antitrust actions against the companies, saying that her previously established views against Big Tech make her biased.

The FTC dismissed Facebook’s request, but hasn’t acted on Amazon’s petition.

In the letters sent Friday, the Chamber criticized the FTC’s recent efforts to take on false advertising, and to stop businesses from touting fake reviews and misleading endorsements.

The Chamber also said the FTC may have violated administrative procedure when it passed a new policy designed to deter mergers that are legally questionable.

And finally, the Chamber challenged the potential for any new policies to come out of a group formed by President Biden’s July executive order, the White House Competition Council, in which the FTC and other agencies discuss how to improve economic competition.

Lina M. Khan
Amazon and Facebook have asked the FTC to recuse Khan from any antitrust actions against the companies.
Lina M. Khan/Reuters

The Chamber said the fact that the White House formed the group means politics is interfering in any rules that come out of it.

FTC Office of Public Affairs Director Lindsay Kryzak responded to the Chamber’s letters by vowing not to back down.

“The FTC just announced we are ramping up efforts to combat corporate crime and now the Chamber declares ‘war’ on the agency,” she said in a statement.

“We are not going to back down because corporate lobbyists are making threats. We will continue to do our job and stand up for consumers, honest businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs who deserve a fair marketplace.”


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