FTC’s Subscription Deception

Competition fellow, Theodore Bolema, explores the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all rule on negative option features for innovative businesses.

In an everchanging digital marketplace, users and business owners are faced with many different options and potential subscription models to better enjoy a service. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a Negative Option Rule Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on March 23, 2023. The lack of clarity regarding what businesses can and cannot do in terms of consumer relations will have drastic impacts on the ability of small and mid-sized companies to adapt to the ever-changing ecosystem.