What you need to know about the Trump administration’s new antitrust regulations
The Trump administration is planning to roll out new rules that aim to prevent businesses from taking advantage of antitrust loopholes and raise the antitrust bar for content providers.
The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that the rule would be published in early 2018.
The regulations aim to curb anticompetitive behavior by content providers and make it easier for consumers to block and block ads, according to an announcement on the agency’s website.
They would also make it harder for content creators to hide the origin of their ads, an enforcement priority.
While the rule won’t be finalized until the summer, the announcement suggests that the agency is taking the issue seriously.
The move comes at a time when President Donald Trump has said he wants to see “a massive, massive antitrust crackdown.”
The White House said Thursday that it is not currently proposing a rule that would preempt existing antitrust law and would not take a position on the merits of a proposed rule.
The White House has not provided a timeline for when it would submit the rule to the Senate, but the Trump White House Office of Management and Budget has said the rule will be ready by January.
Under the new rules, the FCC could impose fines of up to $100,000 per violation or up to twice the maximum fine imposed under the Obama administration’s Stream Protection Rule.
The rules would also establish new penalties for violations, including for unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and would make it illegal to engage in unfair or fraudulent business practices.
The rule would also create a new anti-trust investigation agency, and require the Federal Trade Commissions Office of Enforcement to enforce the rule.
“This is an unprecedented step for the Commission to take to curb unfair and deceptive business practices and ensure consumers can access the information they need to make informed decisions about their online experiences,” said the White House statement.
In the first round of the rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, said it would be looking for ways to reduce the volume of digital ad revenue that companies can make on the Internet.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency was also looking for “proactive measures” to combat digital advertising and said the agency would take a “proper approach” to “trying to find ways to stop deceptive practices that are occurring online.”
A proposal by the FCC to make the rules mandatory for companies with more than $100 million in annual revenue and up to 50 employees would be a significant step toward addressing the issue.
At the end of 2015, Congress passed the Comcast-Time Warner Cable antitrust reform law, which requires that cable companies be allowed to negotiate directly with online video services for a package of protections.
The legislation also requires that the FTC and DOJ investigate and prosecute violations of the law.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other internet companies have argued that they are not subject to the antitrust law because they don’t make their video services available to consumers directly.
Trump has argued that the new law is a tool to encourage cable companies to enter into more direct deals with internet providers, which would mean higher prices for consumers.