The US Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday proposed a rule to ban hidden and false commissions, which can hide the total cost of concert tickets, hotel rooms and utility bills.
Eliminating these tariffs is a priority of President Joe Biden’s administration. The Democrat’s effort led to a legislative push and a series of initiatives aimed at helping consumers. Government officials say these extra costs will drive up prices and waste people’s time.
“The proposed rule would prohibit companies from inflating receipts with hidden and false charges, require honest prices and encourage companies to compete with honesty rather than deception,” said Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan in a statement. “Violators will be subject to civil penalties and must repay the American people they defrauded.”
The proposal by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was accompanied by an announcement from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that it would prevent large banks from charging hidden fees to provide basic customer services.
Biden plans to speak about both proposals in the coming hours from the White House rose garden.
Lael Brainard, director of the White House National Economic Council, says studies show that hidden fees can cause consumers to pay up to 20% more than if they knew the total. cost and compare prices.
The FTC estimates that consumers waste 50 million hours a year shopping for full-price tickets and accommodations. The time saved in these two categories thanks to the standard would be equivalent to about $1 billion per year.
But some business groups doubt that people can save money. After Biden discussed the hidden tariffs at a meeting of advisers in February, the US Chamber of Commerce issued a statement saying the “Washington knows-all approach” would reduce consumer choice and will make the economy less competitive.