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Axon Tells 9th Circuit That The FTC Antitrust Process Is Unconstitutional

 |  July 19, 2020

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) administrative complaint proceedings violate companies’ constitutional rights, police-equipment maker Axon Enterprise told the Ninth Circuit, reported Bloomberg Law

The arguments before a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Friday, July 17, involved Axon’s challenge to the FTC’s antitrust enforcement structure after the agency sought to block Axon’s acquisition of a competitor. A federal district court in Arizona ruled that Axon can’t bring the challenge to a judicial court until the company has gone through the agency’s administrative court, made up of in-house judges.

The case, the first of its kind in more than a decade, could have implications for other agencies that use similar administrative procedures, such as the Food and Drug Administration.

The company argues the FTC’s structure violates its due process rights. The government states that the structure was created by Congress, reported Bloomerg. “The district court’s dismissal order subjects Axon to the very system it finds unconstitutional,” Axon attorney Pamela Peterson told the appeals panel. The company experiences a harm having to endure that process, regardless of the outcome, she said.

But Justice Department attorney Daniel Aguilar, who argued on behalf of the FTC, said the “threshold question” is whether Axon has violated antitrust laws by acquiring police camera maker Vievu in 2018. That’s what the FTC’s proceedings will reveal.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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