The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on October 27, 2022 took the long-anticipated first step to issue a regulation implementing Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This followed a preview by CFPB Director Rohit Chopra at the Money 20/20 conference on October 25 in which he outlined the “CFPB’s new approach to regulation,” which is designed to create “catalysts for more competition.” With respect to Section 1033, Director Chopra said that the CFPB is “exploring safeguards to prevent excessive control or monopolization by one, or even a handful of, firms” and will be working toward avoiding regulations that could be “rigged in favor of some players over others.” Director Chopra’s focus on competition as an essential element of consumer protection has been a hallmark of his directorship.
Sean Royall, new Sidley partner and co-leader of the firm’s global Antitrust and Consumer Protection practice, sits down with Colleen Brown to discuss the convergence in antitrust and consumer protection law. They cover the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) promotion of a more inter-disciplinary approach of looking at data issues, the practical effects that the closer coordination of the FTC’s antitrust and consumer protection branches would have on clients, and what law firms can be doing in response to the increasingly interrelated areas of antitrust and privacy.
Antitrust and consumer protection law—long separate provinces, even within a dual-mission government enforcement agency like the FTC that covers both fields—at last seem to be converging, as reflected in recent government enforcement activity, statements by the FTC’s leadership, and novel private litigation theories. Sean Royall, who co-leads Sidley’s Antitrust and Consumer Protection practice and is a former Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, recently called attention to this trend in an article published in Corporate Counsel magazine. (more…)