52nd Annual Antitrust Spring Meeting

March 31, 2004
JW Marriot Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, March 31st.
3:45 -5:15 pm

The Re-emergence of the Unfairness Doctrine in FTC and State Consumer Protection Cases

Consumer Protection Committee
The FTC Act authorizes the Commission, any many state consumer protection acts, authorized state attorneys general and private litigants, to challenge “unfair” acts or practices. The unfairness doctrine has been the source of much controversy through the years and there have been efforts to reform the FTC’s use of its unfairness powers. After Congressional legislation in 1994, the doctrine was seldom used while at the same time both the states and private litigants have continued to utilize the doctrine to a very substantial degree, often in areas completely distinct from the FTC act itself. In the past few years, the FTC has reinvigorated its approach to unfairness. Howard Beales, the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, recently gave a speech detailing the revitalization of the unfairness doctrine.

The program will compare and contrast the FTC’s new approach to the doctrine with the myriad uses of the unfairness doctrine under state consumer protection laws, exploring the significant impact of the new FTC approach upon both consumer protection enforcement and competition policy.

John E. Villafranco
Collier, Shannon & Scott PLLC
Washington, D.C.

J. Howard Beales III
Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C.

Professor Stephen Calkins
Wayne State University Law School
Detroit, MI

Robert M. Langer
Wiggin and Dana LLP
Hartford, CT

Honorable Thomas H. Miller
Attorney General of Iowa
Des Moines, IA

Please see page 35 of the brochure.