Invitations to Collude - The Unprecedented Expansion of the FTC Act


This article originially published in The Bar Association Metropolitan of St. Louis and The St. Louis Bar Journal.

On June 9, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission approved the settlement of a complaint against U-Haul International, Inc., which alleged that U-Haul invited its competitor, Avis Budget Group, Inc., to collude on prices for the truck rentals. The complaint charged that between 2006 and 2008, U-Haul attempted to raise prices for one-way truck rentals by privately and publicly communicating with Budget. The complaint does not, however, allege that U-Haul and Budget reached an agreement of that there was any adverse effect on competition. U-Haul agreed to the settlement order that prevents it from, inter alia, inviting a competitor to fix prices, divide markets, or allocate customers. This invitation to collude case represents the FTC's most recent efforts to expand the scope of the section 5 of the FTC Act to include unfair methods of competition that are outside the scope of the antitrust laws.

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