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FTC Lays Out New Rule That Could End Hidden Fees

The US Federal Trade Commission is proposing a new rule that it hopes will put an end to hidden junk fees that some businesses often add as a surprise when consumers are checking out. From a report: The agency is currently seeking public comment on the rule, known as the Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees, after having already collected 12,000 comments last year from individuals, businesses, law enforcement groups, and others on how deceptive fees affect them. FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement that “by hiding the total price, these junk fees make it harder for consumers to shop for the best product or service and punish businesses who are honest upfront.” FTC adds that tackling junk fees through its nearly 100-year-old legal mandate that covers “unfair and deceptive acts or practices” is not enough. A new rule with more precise language can do a better job with specifics, the agency argues: “It is an unfair and deceptive practice and a violation of this part for any Business to offer, display, or advertise an amount a consumer may pay without Clearly and Conspicuously disclosing the Total Price.”

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