Proposed junk fee rule gets state AG support

This week marked the end of an extended public comment period for the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed rule to rein in unfair and deceptive fees across the marketplace. Notably, 19 state attorneys general submitted a joint letter of support for the FTC’s proposal.

The Commission proposes to address bait-and-switch pricing structures to prevent business from imposing hidden and unexpected fees and charges that are tacked on to the original advertised price later on in a transaction. The proposal also would require businesses to disclose fees upfront and bars them from misrepresenting and deceiving consumers about the nature and purpose of their fees.

The state attorneys general of North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin commended the FTC’s “straightforward” approach to addressing junk fees. As they noted in their comment letter, state AGs in recent years have pursued enforcement actions across sectors notorious for charging consumers exorbitant fees, including those of lenders, hotels, rental housing management, telecommunications providers, and live-event ticket sellers.

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