How is the public responding to new FTC proposed rules? Companies to watch: Cognition Digital & Natrion

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Welcome to this episode of The Friday 5 with Steve Greenfield, Founder and CEO of Automotive Ventures, an auto technology advisory firm that helps entrepreneurs raise money and maximize the value of their companies.

FTC proposed provisions

I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about the current status of comments on the FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) proposed “Motor Vehicle Dealers Trade Regulation Rule”. 

As you’ll recall back at the end of June, the Federal Trade Commission approved a notice of proposed regulations banning F&I products and add-ons that – in their words – provide no benefit to consumers, and requiring expanded disclosure and consent on optional products, which would include transparent, all-in, out the door pricing online. The proposal also puts confusing and likely onerous limits on how dealerships communicate with shoppers.

The 60-day window for public comment is now open, and you can access the comments at the FTC’s website, The 60-day public comment window opened July 13, with comments due by September 12. 

The FTC estimates that compliance will cost dealers $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion over 10 years. The FTC allows a maximum civil penalty of $46,517 per violation.

We analyzed the 1,649 public comments and observed that less than 1% of the comments were advocating for reconsidering or delaying the proposed regulation. 

With such significant changes proposed to automotive commerce, dealers should be aware of how these changes will impact their businesses. 

I strongly encourage dealers to encourage their employees to get onto the FTC website and add comments to their own. 

In any case, we’ll keep a close eye on how this issue develops and keep you updated here on the Friday Five.

Companies To Watch

Every week we highlight interesting companies in the automotive technology space to keep an eye on. If you read my monthly industry Intel Report, I showcase a few companies each month, and we take the opportunity here on the Friday Five to share some of those companies each week with you.

Cognition Digital

Cognition digital provides a Demand-Side Platform or DSP that makes programmatic advertising easy to deliver. 

They are seamlessly integrated with Amazon Advertising, which allows dealers to activate campaigns fast and easy with their programmatic platform. 

I love Cognition Digital because of the sheer amount of audience data that Amazon has. Think about it, there are 164 million Amazon Prime members now, and Amazon knows just about everything about us based on our shopping and buying signals.

Dealers can now use Cognition Digital to tap into buying signals based on Amazon consumer data. Dealers can harness all of this audience data to get the right message in front of the right consumer at the right suggestable moment.

You can check out Cognition Digital at


Natrion develops components for automotive and battery manufacturers that can be rapidly utilized to deploy safe, high-performance all-solid-state rechargeable batteries. These batteries eliminate liquid-state components to improve electric vehicle fire safety, driving range, charge time, and overall lifespan.

The reason that I like this company is the promise of solid-state EV batteries.  Solid-state batteries, which use solid ceramic material instead of liquid electrolytes to carry electric current, have the promise to store more energy, charge faster and offer greater safety than liquid lithium-ion batteries

You can check out Natrion at


The Future of Automotive Retail has finally been published. 

The book is my attempt to provide the industry with a framework for the various threats and opportunities that are swirling and offer some practical advice on how best to navigate the next 5 to 10 years. 

In the book, I make the argument that our industry is going to see more change in the next 10 years than it’s experienced in the past 100.

You can find the new book on Amazon or just go to

If you get a chance to read it, drop me a line and let me know what you think at I’d love to discuss it with you.

So that’s your weekly Friday 5, a quick wrap-up of the big deals in the automotive technology space over the past week.

If you’re an early-stage automotive technology entrepreneur looking to raise money, or an entrepreneur who is trying to decide whether and when they should raise money or sell their business, I’d love to speak with you.

Thank you for tuning into CBT News for this week’s Friday Five, and we’ll see you next week!

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