Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Vice President of Privacy and Cybersecurity Nicholas Ahrens issued the following statement in response to today’s Federal Trade Commission hearing on the competition and consumer protection landscape. “While there is much to celebrate in the transformative role the Internet and mobile devices have played in our economy and daily lives, the Internet’s ascension to the center of modern consumer decision-making requires scrutiny to ensure consumers are being protected. Today’s FTC hearings are a great first step toward ensuring that there is not a monopoly over either our payment networks or access to information in our economy.”“Dominant internet platforms, large financial networks and the relatively few ISPs that control the vast majority of Internet traffic lie at the epicenter of modern commerce. They must not be allowed to squash competition by using their market dominance to block choice or deceptively steer business.”“For more than two decades, Congress and the various regulatory bodies responsible for monitoring our financial system and free markets have largely taken a ‘hands off’ approach to the Internet, allowing for exponential growth and innovation in many instances. Innovation is key to moving our economy forward, but the time has arrived for the FTC to examine whether market forces alone are enough to protect competition and safeguard consumers.”
In anticipation of today’s hearing, RILA submitted comments to the FTC in August fully outlining the retail industry’s position and concerns on these issues. The full comments can be accessed here
.RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.