In October 2023, the FTC issued a proposed “Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees” targeting what the FTC refers to as “junk fees.” Our special guest is Stacy Cammarano, Staff Attorney in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Advertising Practices, and a lead attorney on the proposal. After reviewing how the FTC has previously used its enforcement authority to address “junk fees,” we discuss some of the key issues identified in comments received by the FTC on its October 2022 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on “junk fees.” We then look at the price and fee disclosures that would be required by the proposal, the businesses that would be covered, and examples of charges for mandatory ancillary goods or services by various industries that would have to be included in disclosed pricing. We also look at the relationship of the FTC’s proposal to “junk fees” initiatives of other federal agencies, such as the CFPB, and to state initiatives, and consider the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s AMG decision on the FTC’s use of rulemaking. We conclude with a discussion of likely next steps in the rulemaking process and what businesses can be doing now to reduce compliance risk.
Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, hosts the conversation.
To listen to the episode, click here.
Today, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST, we will hold a webinar, “The Biden Administration’s “Junk Fees” Initiative Continues: What the Latest Actions Mean for the Consumer Financial Services and Rental Housing Industries.” For more information and to register, click here. This webinar is a follow up to our well-attended May 2023 webinar, “What the Biden Administration’s “Junk Fees” Initiative Means for the Consumer Financial Services Industry: A Look at the Fees Under Attack.” To listen to our two-part podcast episode which repurposes the webinar, click here and here.