The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is calling on nine major retailers, wholesalers and consumer good suppliers for information on the depth and scope of supply chain disruptions and their impact on consumers and the wider economy.
What Happened: The FTC’s order comes under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the agency to proceed with investigations that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose.
The orders were sent to Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BRK-A) subsidiary McLane Co Inc., C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., Kraft Heinz Co. KHC, Kroger Co. KR, Procter & Gamble Co. PG, Tyson Foods Inc. TSN and Walmart Inc. WMT.
The companies will have 45 days from the date they received the order to respond.
Why It Happened: In a press statement, the FTC said the investigation “will examine whether supply chain disruptions are leading to specific bottlenecks, shortages, anticompetitive practices, or contributing to rising consumer prices.
“The orders require the companies to detail the primary factors disrupting their ability to obtain, transport and distribute their 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; and the steps the companies are taking to alleviate disruptions; and how they allocate products among their stores when they are in short supply.”
Furthermore, the agency is asking the companies for their internal documents related to the supply chain disruptions, including strategies to mitigate the ongoing disruptions and the financial impacts on the companies and their consumers. The FTC is also querying consumers and other businesses within this realm for their views on how supply chain issues are affecting competition in consumer goods markets.
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