| WASHINGTON, April 24
WASHINGTON, April 24 In an unusual move, three
top officials with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday
came out in opposition to laws that ban automakers like Tesla
Motors Inc, from selling their automobiles directly to
Laws that ban car manufacturers from selling their own
products are "bad policy" and outdated, the FTC officials said
in a blog post. Such laws are currently in place in Arizona,
Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia.
The authors were Andrew Gavil, director of the FTC's Office
of Policy Planning; Deborah Feinstein, director of the Bureau of
Competition; and Martin Gaynor, director of the Bureau of
The views are their own and not those of the commission, the
three said in the posting. It is not clear if the FTC is
considering other action on the auto sales issue.
Dealers argue that their business model is good for
consumers because dealers compete on price and offer long-term
service. The clash pits Elon Musk, billionaire CEO of Tesla,
which makes electric cars, against 17,000 car dealerships, often
family-owned, sprawled across the United States.
"Change can sometimes be difficult for established
competitors that are used to operating in a particular way, but
consumers can benefit from change that also challenges
longstanding competitors," the FTC officials wrote.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Ros Krasny and Doina