The News/Media Alliance submitted comments on June 23 on the Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Amendments to the Negative Option Rule, which was published in the Federal Register on April 24. The Alliance reiterated its position that negative option subscription plans are already heavily regulated both at the Federal and state level and that the FTC has adequate authority already to act in this area. If the FTC chooses to move forward, The Alliance recommended that the FTC only enact regulations that are consistent with existing best practices and established state laws. The comments state that our members and customers rely on automatic renewal programs to ensure uninterrupted service, convenience, and cost savings. The FTC argues the proposed Rule is needed due to widespread deceptive practices; however, given the dramatic expansion of subscription-based services, there is no evidence that complaints have risen proportionally. Expanding the rule as proposed is unnecessary and will impose an additional and inconsistent regulatory layer that will disrupt effective standardized practices businesses have put into place to comply with state laws.
Holly Lubart is a Government Affairs Consultant for the News Media Alliance. Previously, she served as Vice President of Government Affairs for the PA NewsMedia Association and started her career as a journalist. Lubart has over 20 years of political and communications experience.