Law-breaking companies in US House ranks explain war on stricter FTC enforcement
US Chamber of Commerce lobbies to oppose tighter Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement as its ranks are filled with corporate criminals, new Public Citizen says report released today.
The 111 known member companies of the House have broken federal and state laws a staggering 15,896 times and have racked up penalties totaling more than $ 154 billion since 2000, Public Citizen’s analysis of corporate disclosures and penalty records found. In addition, 19 members of the Chamber have pleaded guilty to crimes committed at the parent company or subsidiary level, while four others are currently under criminal investigation.
The report provides important context for the House’s recent efforts to undermine the FTC. After FTC President Lina Khan announced an initiative to fight against corporate crime, the Chamber accused the agency of “become thug”And is committed to responding with all the tools at its disposal. Now the business lobby is said to be launching a six-figure advertising campaign attack the agency.
“In fact, it is the ranks of the House that are filled with thugs,” said Rick Claypool, Public Citizen Research Director and author of the report. “It is high time that big companies that engage in abusive, monopolistic and predatory behavior face serious consequences. Corporate crime shouldn’t pay, and honest businesses should welcome the FTC’s recent pledge to crack down on corporate crime.
The Chamber of Business Offenders list includes:
- Big banks: Three multinational mega-banks account for more than half of the total amount paid in penalties by known members of the House: JPMorgan Chase ($ 35 billion), Citigroup ($ 25 billion) and Wells Fargo ($ 21 billion);
- Tech giants: Amazon, Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet are all under investigation by federal and state authorities for violations of antitrust laws. So far, they have been sanctioned for wrongdoing 131 times and have paid nearly $ 6 billion in penalties;
- Big polluters: Well-known members of the House have paid more than $ 20 billion in penalties for more than 2,600 environmental harms. Oil and gas companies like Chevron, Occidental Petroleum and Marathon Petroleum recorded more than 1,600 violations totaling $ 8.9 billion in penalties; and
- Salary thieves: More than half of known members of the House have a history of wage and hour violations – 284 violations in total with $ 119 million in penalties.
the annual cost Corporate and white-collar crime to Americans is estimated to be between $ 300 billion and $ 800 billion annually, while street crime costs around $ 16 billion. But under the Trump administration, lawsuits against companies have plunged to a bottom of a quarter century.
November survey report from Data for Progress found that 70% of Republicans, Independents and Democrats want the Biden administration to do more to tackle corporate crime. The renewal of the application would ensure that dishonest, deceptive and destructive business practices do not offer monopolies, predators, crooks and criminals any advantage over honest, transparent and innovative business practices.