FTC Issues Orders to Major Retailers, Wholesalers, and Product Suppliers Regarding Supply Chain Disruptions

On November 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered nine large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers to provide “detailed information” to the FTC.  The FTC explains that it is seeking this information to “shed light on the causes behind ongoing supply chain disruptions and how these disruptions are causing serious and ongoing hardships for consumers and harming competition in the U.S. economy.”  

These nine companies are: Walmart Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., Kroger Co., C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., McLane Co, Inc. Procter & Gamble Co., Tyson Foods, Inc., and Kraft Heinz Co. The companies will have 45 days from the date the order was received to provide the information to the FTC. 

The FTC has issued these orders under authority granted to it in Section 6(b) of the FTC Act.  Section 6(b) gives broad authority to the agency to conduct a wide array of studies and to collect information for the purpose of issuing reports.

The order specifically requires these companies to submit the following information and documents to the FTC:

  • The primary factors disrupting the company’s ability to obtain, transport and distribute its products,
  • The impact these disruptions are having in terms of delayed and canceled orders, increased costs, and prices,
  • The products, suppliers, and inputs most affected
  • The steps the company is taking to alleviate disruptions and how it allocates products among its stores when they are in short supply.
  • Internal documents regarding the supply chain disruptions, including strategies related to supply chains, pricing, marketing, promotions, costs, profit margins, sales volumes, selection of suppliers and brands, and market shares.

The model orders are available here.

FTC will also provide an opportunity for retailers, consumer goods suppliers, wholesalers, and consumers to voluntarily provide their views to the agency on “how supply chain issues are affecting competition in consumer goods markets.”

OFW Law will continue to monitor any developments with this order. Please contact us if you have further questions or would like further information.


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