The Federal Trade Commission announced that it will hold a virtual informal hearing on January 16, 2024, on its proposed amendments to the Negative Option Rule, during which six organizations will address issues raised to date during the rulemaking process.

As we previously blogged about, in March the FTC announced a rulemaking to address problematic negative option practices, proposing several significant updates to its rule regarding subscriptions and recurring payments.  Highlights of the proposed rule include guidance around the substance and placement of disclosures, the meaning of “express informed consent,” and a new “click to cancel” provision requiring sellers to make it as easy for consumers to cancel their enrollment as it was to sign up.  According to the FTC, such proposed changes “are calculated to combat unfair or deceptive business practices, including recurring charges for products or services consumers do not want and cannot cancel without undue difficulty.” 

In response to the proposed rulemaking, six of the 1,100-plus commenters—the International Franchise Association, TechFreedom, the Performance Driven Marketing Institute, NCTA (The Internet & Television Association), FrontDoor, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau—requested to present their positions at an informal hearing.  Such oral statements at the January 16th event will be limited to 10 minutes each.  The hearing will be conducted virtually on the FTC’s website, starting at 10 a.m. ET, and is open to the public.