The Federal Trade Commission is more active than ever in its assertion of authority in the virtual world. The FTC's role is generally understood to include competition analysis, consumer protection, and policy advocacy.
How are each of these functions best accomplished by the FTC in the virtual world? Are there special attributes of the internet and e-commerce that require the FTC to modify its traditional regulatory approach? Will the FTC's planned "Do Not Track" policy be an overall good, or a market inhibitor?
Richard A. Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, is the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Epstein is also, a visiting professor at NYU Law School.
Francis J. Menton, Jr. is a partner in the Litigation Department and Co-Chair of the Business Litigation Practice Group of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York. Mr. Menton specializes in complex and technical commercial litigation, principally contract and securities claims. He has a nationwide trial practice, and has tried cases in state and federal courts including Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Joshua Wright is an Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Economics. Professor Wright was recently appointed as the inaugural Scholar in Residence at the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition, where he served until Fall 2008. Professor Wright was a Visiting Professor at the University of Texas School of Law and was a Visiting Fellow at the Searle Center at the Northwestern University School of Law during the 2008-09 academic year.
Professor Wright is the co-editor of the Supreme Court Economic review, and serves on the editorial board of the Antitrust Law Journal, Global Competition Policy, and Competition Policy International. He is a co-founder of the Microsoft / George Mason Annual Conference on the Law and Economics of Innovation, a member of the National Science Foundation Advisory Panel for Law and Social Sciences, a Senior Fellow at the George Mason Information Economy Project, and a regular contributor to Truth on the Market, a weblog dedicated to academic commentary on law, business, and economics.
NYU Law professor Richard Epstein explains why he does not support net neutrality. Epstein argues that congestion and investment issues demand regulation. He likens the Internet to a small path in the wilderness, which can initially remain free, but needs to be structured as usage increases to allow for collective improvement and growth.