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IAB Wins Victory at FTC for Businesses and Consumers

Judge’s Decision Forces Agency to Reconsider Harmful Online Subscription Rules

A Look Ahead: What to Expect from a Fully Staffed FTC under President Biden 6

WASHINGTON, DC – Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is praising the order of an administrative law judge forcing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to rethink new rules for online subscription services. IAB has argued that major changes to the agency’s “Negative Options Rule” would hobble the popular business model and harm consumers.

“We thank Judge Carol Fox Foelak for hearing the evidence that the new rules would cost businesses a lot more than the FTC estimates. In fact, the judge found that the FTC failed to properly analyze the potential effects of more fine print and one-size-fits-all mandates for different platforms and devices, which would ruin consumers’ online experience,” said IAB’s Executive Vice President for Public Policy Lartease Tiffith, who argued against the changes in several public hearings.

“The FTC’s proposed changes may also violate business owners’ free speech rights, preventing them from offering customers better deals, and would discourage people from subscribing to valuable products and services in the first place,” he added.

The judge noted discrepancies in the FTC’s economic calculations, finding that its estimates of labor and other costs point to a total compliance burden of significantly higher than $100 million, the threshold at which the agency must perform a more thorough review of its proposal.

“It’s clear the FTC overstepped its boundaries and underestimated the costs of these changes to popular services,” said Tiffith. “IAB will continue to work with our partners and the agency to produce a better outcome for businesses and consumers.”

About IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership comprises more than 700 leading media companies, brands, agencies, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns. The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.

IAB Media Contacts
Kate Tumino / Brittany Tibaldi
212-896-1252 / 347-487-6794
[email protected]/ [email protected]