FTC Asks Nine Firms, Including Walmart, Amazon, to Report on Supply Chain

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The Federal Trade Commission ordered nine consumer firms, including Amazon.com (ticker: AMZN), Walmart (WMT) and Procter & Gamble (PG), to provide information about supply chain problems and the ways in which anti-competitive may be associated with practices.

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Requested by the agency, which enforces laws prohibiting unfair, fraudulent, or fraudulent market activities, will be used start a study Helping the government understand how a supply chain crisis affects consumers.

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“The disruption in the supply chain is increasing the provision and distribution of a wide range of goods, from computer chips and medicines to meat and wood,” FTC Chair Leena Khan said in a statement. He said he hopes the information collected “sheds light on market conditions and business practices that could make these disruptions worse or cause asymmetric effects.”

The requests are not linked to any policy or enforcement action, agency spokeswoman Lindsey Kryzak said in an email.

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“I couldn’t even predict what might happen before receiving the information and giving employees time to do their jobs without bias and guesswork,” he said.

Information Request, which may be issued by The Kroger Company (KR), C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., MacLean Company, Inc. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA), a Tyson Foods unit. Inc. (TSN), and the Kraft Heinz Company (KHC) compiled a report describing container availability, trucking and chassis availability, canceled orders, increased costs, transportation costs, late deliveries, as well as supply chain issues says to do. Details of the companies’ efforts to solve these problems.

Eric Lev, CIO of the San Francisco investment firm DanceSaid that many supply chain issues may be outside the purview of policy makers or enforcement agencies.

in a message a. are answering baron’s Inquired, Levey said the move by global manufacturers to add Internet of Things capability to many devices has created a shortage of computer chips. This will only be solved with increased production capacity which may take years to set up.

Factories pay for rising oil prices in the form of increased electricity costs. And that could result in tighter profit margins that discourage manufacturers from investing in increased production, Lev said.

Levey said the transportation shortage will likely persist as increased consumer demand coupled with a reduction in the transportation workforce has led to a sharp increase in cargo prices.

“Many older dockworkers and truck drivers decided to retire over the past year,” Lev said, adding that longshore and truck-driver jobs can be difficult to fill. “It takes a long time to retrain people to move from these jobs to specialized jobs that are responsible for getting goods from the dock to the shop.”

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