The Federal Trade Commission will hold a virtual informal hearing on January 16, 2024, on the proposed amendments to the Negative Option Rule.
During the hearing, which will be open to the public and viewable on the FTC’s website, six nongovernmental organizations will provide oral statements addressing issues raised to date during the rulemaking process.
On March 23, 2023, the FTC announced a rulemaking proposing several significant updates to its rule regarding subscriptions and recurring payments, including a “click to cancel” provision requiring sellers to make it as easy for consumers to cancel their enrollment as it was to sign up. The new click to cancel provision, along with other proposals, are aimed at rescuing consumers from seemingly never-ending struggles to cancel unwanted subscription payment plans for everything from cosmetics to newspapers to gym memberships.
In response to the proposed rulemaking, six of the more than 1,100 commenters requested to present their positions at an informal hearing: They include International Franchise Association, TechFreedom, the Performance Driven Marketing Institute, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, FrontDoor, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
The Federal Register notice states that these entities will be entitled to make oral presentations at the informal hearing on January 16, 2024. Oral statements at the event will be limited to 10 minutes each. These organizations, however, may also request to submit written documents to the FTC within 14 days of publication of the notice in the Federal Register. Submission instructions are included in the notice. All submissions will be placed on the public record.
The informal hearing will be conducted virtually, starting at 10 a.m. ET, and Securities and Exchange Commission Administrative Law Judge Carol Fox Foelak has been appointed to preside over the event. The link to the hearing webcast will be posted shortly before the date of the event on the FTC’s website.
The Commission vote approving publication of the notice was 3-0. It will be published in the Federal Register shortly.
The lead staffer on this matter is Katherine Johnson in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.