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The US Week Ahead: FTC to assess its enforcement priorities

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The US Week Ahead: FTC to assess its enforcement priorities

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will hold two days of hearings this week to assess whether it needs to modernize its enforcement priorities for competition and consumer protection. In Congress, a subcommittee in the House of Representatives focused on communications and technology will consider three bills regarding public safety communications upgrades.

The FTC will hold hearings from Sept. 13-14 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the current landscape of competition and consumer protection law and policy. The hearings will contain seven different panels with 44 panelists from a range of backgrounds, including a current and former FTC commissioner; current and former lawyers with experience working on antitrust cases at the U.S. Department of Justice; experts from across academia; and representatives from technology-related advocacy groups.

"The FTC has always been committed to self-examination and critical thinking, to ensure that our enforcement and policy efforts keep pace with changes in the economy," FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a press release when the hearings were announced. "When the FTC periodically engages in serious reflection and evaluation, we are better able to promote competition and innovation, protect consumers, and shape the law, so that free markets continue to thrive."

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., one of the world's largest smartphone makers, has asked the commission for help in regaining access to the U.S. market in comments ahead of the hearings. A collection of industry and consumer groups, meanwhile, has urged the commission to update its approach to data privacy to reflect technological advancements.

The commission is expected to debate its authority on regulating data privacy. Under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the commission is authorized to regulate unfair methods of competition and deceptive practices impacting commerce.

The FTC will hold additional hearings throughout the fall and winter on antitrust law, intellectual property policy, privacy, artificial intelligence and more.

On Sept. 14, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will have a hearing to consider three different bills aimed at advancing public safety communications.

Notably up for consideration is a bill known as the 9-1-1 Fee Integrity Act, which would direct the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to issue rules within six months that prohibit states from diverting public funds intended for 9-1-1 services away from 9-1-1 services and operational expenses.

Another piece of legislation in front of the committee would enlist the FCC to begin the process of developing a short code for dialing from mobile devices to reach public safety personnel in nonemergency situations.

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Congress:
Sept. 13 The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Transportation of Tomorrow: Emerging Technologies That Will Move America."
Sept. 14 The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing titled "Solutions to Strengthen U.S. Public Safety Communications."
Federal Trade Commission
Sept 13-14 The Federal Trade Commission will hold two days of hearings titled "Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century."
Federal Communications Commission
Sept. 13 The North American Numbering Council, a federal advisory committee to the Federal Communications Commission on numbering issues, will hold a meeting in Washington, D.C., to assess a report on technical requirements of possible future consolidation between numbering administrators.
Industry events:
Sept. 12-14 Mobile World Congress Americas will take place in Los Angeles.
Sept. 12 The American Consumer Institute will hold a panel in Washington, D.C., titled "How Secure Is Your Information from Online Threats?"
Sept. 14 The Brookings Institution will hold an event in Washington, D.C., titled "Preparing for the ethical dilemmas of the AI era."

Stories of note:

Appeals court: State challenge to information services pre-empted by federal law

FCC to vote on rules to make it easier to call 911 from multiline telephones

Social media execs address US lawmakers weighing regulatory options for tech

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