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Issued FTC advance notice on Unfair or Deceptive Fees Trade Regulation Rule

On 20 October 2022, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an advance notice regarding its intention to issue a rule on “Unfair or Deceptive Fees Trade Regulation”. The FTC noted that the rule aims to address the “junk fees”, “hidden fees”, and “drip pricing” that businesses, including online platforms and advertisers, are leaving at consumers. In its advance notice, the FTC defines “junk fees” as deceptive and unfair fees, and “hidden fee” encompasses fees that are disclosed in the last step in the purchasing process and lack transparency. Furthermore, in the proposed rule, the FTC aims to regulate “drip pricing”, understood as the advertisement of only one part of the product price and disclosing the additional charges after the purchase. The Advanced Notice also outlined findings from two studies that noted that in the absence of regulation, “online platforms have strong incentives to hide fees and that drip pricing lowers consumers’ perceived price fairness”. The Advanced Notice also sought feedback on whether any such rule requiring all-in pricing should apply to all industries and whether it would be better if only applied to specific industries. The FTC will open consultations for three months after the Advanced Notice is posted in the Federal Register.

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Policy Area
Other operating conditions
Policy Instrument
Fair marketing and advertising practice requirement
Regulated Economic Activity
cross-cutting, platform intermediary: e-commerce
Implementation Level
Government Branch
Government Body
consumer protection authority

Complete timeline of this policy change

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under deliberation

On 20 October 2022, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an advance notice regarding its in…

in consultation

On 8 November 2022, the public consultation opens on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advance not…

processing consultation

On 9 January 2023, the public consultation on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advance notice on …

under deliberation

On 11 October 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on Tr…

in consultation

On 9 November 2023, the public consultation opened on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notice of …

in consultation

On 8 January 2024, the public consultation closed on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notice on U…