BakerHostetler antitrust attorneys Carl Hittinger and Jeffry Duffy authored the article, “FTC Section 5 in 2014: An Unexpected Attack, A New Frontier,” published in Law360 on December 22. The authors cover the FTC’s push to exercise its Section 5 authority in new areas; ever since Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act was created more than 100 years ago, there has been controversy over how far the FTC’s jurisdiction extends. Two examples from the past year highlight this controversy and the FTC’s data security settlements despite its source of authority being under attack, as well as its victory in obtaining a first-ever settlement and consent decree with a “patent troll” using Section 5 authority. The two matters, LabMD and LabMD v. FTC and MPHJ Technology Investments are examined in detail before the authors look forward to 2015. There are still unresolved conflicts regarding the adoption of written guidelines for the Section 5 authority as opposed to a case-by-case approach, and the effect of the new Democratic commissioner’s arrival on this dispute as well as other priorities is unknown.

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