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Comments to FTC on Proposed Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees

In 2021, Policy Integrity submitted a petition for rulemaking to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calling for a ban on the use of drip pricing. After granting the petition, the FTC in 2023 proposed a Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees (Proposed Rule). The Institute for Policy Integrity submitted comments with suggested edits and additions to the regulatory text to ensure that the Proposed Rule fully codifies FTC's stated objectives. Our comments also suggest several actions to strengthen FTC's breakeven and cost-benefit analyses. 

Our comments offered the following recommendations:

  • FTC should amend § 464.1(g) to clarify the types of goods or services that must be included in the Total Price.
  • FTC should amend § 464.3(b) to specify that consumers must affirmatively opt in to any fees and charges excluded from the Total Price, except for Government Charges and Shipping Charges.
  • FTC should amend § 464.1(f) to clarify that Shipping Charges do not include internal handling costs.
  • FTC should further justify its conclusion that benefits exceed costs, based on its properly conducted Economy-Wide Breakeven Analysis.
  • FTC should further explain its claim that the Proposed Rule will result in enforcement savings—and should quantify such savings to the extent feasible.