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WASHINGTON — The Democrats leading the Federal Trade Commission are hoping to expand the agency’s authority to crack down on unfair business practices — and the shift could have major implications for its ongoing scrutiny of pharmacy benefit managers.

The FTC has for years allowed mergers and business tactics that lower prices for consumers, even if they put small companies out of business. Now, under Chair Lina Khan, the agency is focused more on protecting competitors, especially small and medium businesses.

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