The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established by the Federal Trade Commission Act in 1914. Its purpose is to protect consumers, and to prevent certain business practices that take advantage of consumers and squeeze other businesses out.
An example of this would be the FTC regulating companies from forming monopolies, or dominating the market. This is also known as antitrust regulation. The FTC protects both consumers and businesses. The following is a partial list of activities the FTC undertakes:
The FTC's main goal is to ensure that the markets are vigorous, efficient, and free of restrictions. Thus, the FTC tries to enforce consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices.
This Bureau of the FTC is responsible for enforcing rules created by the FTC, and laws enacted by Congress pertaining to consumer protections. Its actions include:
The Bureau has eight regional offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas. It also has eight divisions.
The FTC has a wide range of responsibilities, but within the Bureau they have created separate divisions that oversee the following concerns:
The FTC may decide to take action when it receives letters from consumers or businesses, pre-merger notification filings, Congressional inquiries or articles on consumer or economic subjects. The FTC's investigations are usually non-public. This protects the investigation and the companies involved.
If the FTC believes a company has violated the law, it may try to get voluntary compliance by entering into a consent order with the company.
This basically means that the company agrees to stop its practices. If the FTC cannot get such an agreement, it may issue an administrative complaint or seek injunctive relief from the courts.
If a violation is found, the company may be ordered to cease and desist. The FTC can also issue Trade Regulation Rules. During the rulemaking proceedings, the public can attend hearings and file written comments on a proposed rule.
The FTC is by its nature responsible for taking legal action based on consumers’ and others’ complaints. If you filed a complaint with the FTC and your complaint was ignored or nothing was resolved, then you can decide if you'd like to pursue a private civil action.
However, it's important to remember that complaints to the FTC take time to resolve, and you should hold onto all of your documents and records in case they cannot address you complaint right away. In the event that your complaint has legal merit, you may consider submitting your claim to a business lawyer if the FTC refuses to take action on your complaint.
Last Modified: 07-25-2018 10:18 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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