The Wall Street Journal has run a couple of stories in recent months documenting the overreaching work of the FTC. In November, it ran a story describing how the FTC actually investigated whether The Music Teachers National Association was engaging in “anticompetitive practices”.
Because the non-profit, which had been in existence for years, did not have the financial resources to fight the investigation, the FTC laid out its conditions for continuation:
“It must, however, read a statement out loud at every future national MTNA event warning members against talking about prices or recruitment. It must send this statement to all 22,000 members and post it on its website. It must contact all of its 500-plus affiliates and get them to sign a compliance statement.
The association must also develop a sweeping antitrust compliance program that will require annual training of its state presidents on the potential crimes of robber-baron piano teachers. It must submit regular reports to the FTC and appoint an antitrust compliance officer.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
Then in January, the WSJ noted that the FTC won a victory over Apple with regard to the iPad.
The FTC maintains that the iPad apps did not clarify well enough that children could potentially access their parents money via a linked credit card on the iPad. So the FTC decided to go after Apple, the maker of the iPad.
A “class-action settlement didn’t require Apple to change its practices, while the FTC action requires the company to clearly disclose what consumers are authorizing when they enter their password. The FTC settlement also requires Apple to provide consumers with full refunds”.
So children were able to play games that their parents had chosen, and rack up money/debt through app purchases with a linked credit card that the parents had put on there — and that is the fault of Apple. Got it.
These recent FTC crusades are two prime examples of outrageous regulation and the stupidity of the FTC’s overwhelming overreach. If regulators have enough time to stick their noses in places that they don’t belong, or are just being meddlesome and counterproductive, then the Federal budgets for such regulation are clearly too large.