The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that on September 21, 2018, it would host a second session in its 21st Century Hearings series. The FTC’s goal for this series is to review changes in technology, various business practices, and the economy to evaluate whether adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement priorities are warranted.

As described by the FTC, the session on September 21 will feature a wide range of discussions. The topics that will be of particular interest to many in the health care arena include:

  • Whether the antitrust laws “should take into account additional public policy concerns” including “the bargaining power of large entities, or labor and employment considerations”;
  • Which “highest priority reforms” would improve antitrust enforcement policy;
  • “[W]hether antitrust agencies and courts should balance procompetitive and anticompetitive effects across relevant markets in the analysis of mergers and acquisitions”; and
  • Monopsony power issues, including the potential for mergers to create buyer power.

This session will be hosted live, and can be accessed through a live webcast: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2018/09/ftc-announces-second-session-hearings-competition-consumer.

A full list of the 21st Century Hearings topics and event dates can be found here: https://www.ftc.gov/policy/hearings-competition-consumer-protection.