Antitrust Law Adds to the Consumer Finance Regulatory Arsenal
Regulatory scrutiny and class action litigation relating to the consumer financial services (CFS) industry have typically focused on issues of disclosure, customer privacy, and fees charged to consumers. CFS lawyers are familiar with this regulatory regime and its goals of preventing deception and promoting fairness to consumers.
Within the past several years, however, regulators and class action plaintiffs have broadened their focus to challenge various CFS industry practices with increasing frequency on the grounds that they undermine competition. This expanded focus utilizes the antitrust laws and the substantial remedies associated with them, which include injunctive relief to block mergers, as well as treble damages and counsel fees in private litigation.
In this new climate, it behooves CFS lawyers to become familiar with principles of antitrust law and how they can be applied to the CFS industry. A fuller understanding of these laws will enable CFS firms to minimize risk, provide advice and counsel to their business units, and enhance the likelihood of prevailing in litigation aimed at various revenue-enhancing practices. This White Paper discusses the impact of this broadened focus on the antitrust laws.