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Proposed law seeks more FTC oversight of carriers

Chris Ziegler

Proposed legislation currently making its way around the hallowed halls of Congress would put an end to the common carrier exemption, a shifty little clause of the FTC Act that essentially bails telecom carriers out from under Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction. In lay terms, that means carriers can engage in all manner of anticompetitive behavior and deceptive advertising and there's really not a heck of a lot the FTC can do about it. Carriers are currently reviewing the bill -- they're not really commenting on it in depth at this point -- but something tells us that by the time they get to the last spellbinding page, they're going to have an objection or two that necessitates the disposal of some lobby money. Then again, this isn't the first time congressmen have attempted to nix the common carrier exemption (an action the FTC fully supports, naturally), so there's certainly no guarantee it'll make it through to law this time, either.

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