Federal Trade Commission

Personal Finance February 14, 2008|Print

As a consumer or business person, you may be more familiar with the work of the Federal Trade Commission than you think.

Consumers who refer to care labels in their clothes, product warranties or stickers showing the energy costs of home appliances are using information required by the FTC. Businesses must be familiar with the laws requiring truthful advertising or prohibiting price fixing. These laws also are administered by the FTC.

The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic lives of most Americans. In fact, the agency has a long tradition of maintaining a competitive marketplace for both consumers and businesses. When the FTC was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to “bust the trusts.” Over the years, Congress passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anticompetitive practices. In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.” Since then, the Commission also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In 1975, Congress gave the FTC the authority to adopt industry-wide trade regulation rules. The FTC’s work is performed by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics. That work is aided by the Office of General Counsel and seven regional offices.

Consumer information is found at: Federal Trade Commission Consumer