Can't Anyone Here Play this Game? Judging the FTC's Critics

31 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2015 Last revised: 26 May 2016

See all articles by David A. Hyman

David A. Hyman

Georgetown University Law Center

William E. Kovacic

George Washington University - Law School; King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: November 23, 2015

Abstract

The conventional wisdom is that the FTC was the governmental equivalent of a leper colony prior to 1969, and its credibility and reputation were restored only by the adoption of the wise recommendations in the 1969 ABA Report. There is no question that the FTC deserves plenty of criticism for its pre-1969 performance. It is also beyond doubt that there has been a dramatic turn-around in the intervening forty-five years, as the FTC adopted the recommendations in the 1969 Report. But, before we simply genuflect at the wisdom of those responsible for the ABA Report and the inherent virtue of their recommendations, it is worth noting that those recommendations also placed the FTC’s continued existence at risk as well — and did so for an entirely new set of reasons than had been the case pre-1969. Indeed, the last forty-five years of the FTC’s history (which are assuredly an improvement on the first fifty-five) are still a testament to the unintended consequences that can accompany even the best of reform proposals.

Keywords: FTC, agency design, reform, administrative law, antitrust

JEL Classification: K00, K21, K23, L40

Suggested Citation

Hyman, David A. and Kovacic, William E., Can't Anyone Here Play this Game? Judging the FTC's Critics (November 23, 2015). George Washington Law Review, Vol. 83, 2015, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2015-58, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-58, University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-10, King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2016-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2705931

David A. Hyman (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

William E. Kovacic

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202.994.8123 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/faculty/profile.aspx?id=1731

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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