The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced the dismissal of its administrative action against Axon Enterprise, a leading police body-camera maker. This decision comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling granted Axon the right to challenge the constitutionality of the FTC in federal court.
In response to the Supreme Court’s April ruling, the FTC filed an order stating that Axon’s lawsuit questioning the FTC’s constitutionality would be returned to federal court. The agency expects that this legal challenge will result in years of additional litigation, causing delays in the enforcement action being taken by the FTC.
Acknowledging the challenges posed by ongoing litigation, the FTC stated in its order, “We have come to the difficult conclusion that the public interest requires that this litigation no longer be continued.”
Pam Petersen, Axon’s Vice President of Litigation and Counsel, confirmed that the dismissal by the FTC aims to resolve both the administrative and federal cases, effectively rendering Axon’s claims regarding constitutionality as moot.
Axon’s legal battle with the antitrust regulator began after its acquisition of competitor Vievu in 2018. In response, the FTC launched an enforcement action against Axon. In 2020, Axon filed a lawsuit questioning the constitutional basis of the FTC’s structure.
Initially, an Arizona federal court dismissed Axon’s case on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction under federal law since the FTC proceedings were already underway. The ruling was subsequently affirmed by an appellate panel in a 2-1 vote. However, Axon appealed to the Supreme Court, which ultimately overturned the appellate decision in April. This ruling determined that Axon’s claims could indeed be heard by the federal district court.
Axon Chief Executive Rick Smith expressed his satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s decision, emphasizing the importance of fair and impartial legal processes. “No one should ever face the prospect of a government that can demand to seize your most precious assets without the ability to defend yourself in a fair and impartial court of law,” Smith stated.