Federal Trade Commission


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Related to Federal Trade Commission: Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission Act

Federal Trade Commission

(FTC), independent agency of the U.S. government established in 1915 and charged with keeping American business competition free and fair. The FTC has no jurisdiction over banks and common carriers, which are under the supervision of other governmental agencies. It has five members, not more than three of whom may be members of the same political party, appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate, for seven-year terms. The act was part of the program of President Wilson to check the growth of monopoly and preserve competition as an effective regulator of business.

Duties of the FTC

The duties of the FTC are, in general, to promote fair competition through the enforcement of certain antitrust laws; to prevent the dissemination of false and deceptive advertising of goods, drugs, curative devices, and cosmetics; and to investigate the workings of business and keep Congress and the public informed of the efficiency of such antitrust legislation as exists, as well as of practices and situations that may call for further legislation.

Enforcement

The commission's law-enforcement activities have to do with the prevention of unfair methods of competition and false advertising (in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 and the Wheeler-Lea Act of 1938); with administration of provisions restricting tying and exclusive dealing contracts, acquisition of capital stock, interlocking directorates, and price discriminations (in accordance with the Clayton Antitrust ActClayton Antitrust Act,
1914, passed by the U.S. Congress as an amendment to clarify and supplement the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. It was drafted by Henry De Lamar Clayton.
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 of 1914 and the Robinson-Patman ActRobinson-Patman Act,
passed by the U.S. Congress in 1936 to supplement the Clayton Antitrust Act. The act, advanced by Congressman Wright Patman, forbade any person or firm engaged in interstate commerce to discriminate in price to different purchasers of the same commodity when
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 of 1936); and with administration of the Webb-Pomerene Act of 1918, which permits associations to engage in export trade without incurring the penalties of the Sherman Antitrust ActSherman Antitrust Act,
1890, first measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit trusts; it was named for Senator John Sherman. Prior to its enactment, various states had passed similar laws, but they were limited to intrastate businesses.
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. In 1946 the FTC was given the right to cancel faulty trademarks. The FTC also enforces the provisions of the Truth in Lending Act of 1968 over creditors (e.g., finance companies, retailers, and nonfederal credit unions) not specifically regulated by another government agency. The act was designed to ensure that a potential borrower can obtain meaningful information about the actual cost of consumer credit.

To enforce antitrust legislation, the commission is empowered to issue cease-and-desist orders upon ascertaining to its satisfaction that the laws are being violated. These orders, to be effective, usually must have court sanction, and the commission must, therefore, in various instances prove its case in court. In deciding such cases the courts have interpreted and applied the phrase "unfair methods of competition." Many of the judicial decisions have frustrated the work of the commission in restricting the growth of monopoly and also, to some degree, the intent of the antitrust laws. Yet the commission has done much toward ridding the business world of vicious competitive practices.

The commission may undertake special investigations at the order of Congress, the President, or upon its own initiative. In its investigatory work, the commission was delegated the power to require information from any corporation in interstate commerce. Many companies, however, gave only partial access to their records, and others gave none. A decision by the Supreme Court declared that access to records of private business, except where substantial proof is submitted as to a specific breach of the law, is a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Despite the fact that the commission's investigatory power was thus greatly limited, it has made and published a notable series of investigations. After the checks rendered by the courts, the commission tended more and more to carry out its recommendations through trade-practice conferences, at which representatives of an industry might voluntarily adopt regulations to control competition in that industry.

References in periodicals archive ?
If you suspect your personal information has been compromised or stolen, be sure to promptly contact the Federal Trade Commission and the identity theft Web site at www.consumer.gov/idthe ft.
In March 2004, facing a Federal Trade Commission investigation into Shape Up's claims, McGraw pulled his supplements off the market and the FTC dropped its probe, according to the Los Angeles Times.
File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Federal Trade Commission, 202-326-2222, www.ftc.gov
The Federal Trade Commission's Safeguards Rule, which implements the security provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, became effective on May 23.
The previous minimum was 50%, set in 1999 following an earlier Federal Trade Commission report on the same topic.
Also, proposed regulations before Congress and the Federal Trade Commission would affect private businesses but exempt religious groups from teleblocks--allowing religious phone solicitors to circumvent "do not call" lists.
Arvesta Corporation, San Francisco, Calif., announces the acquisition of EVEREST[R] Herbicide from Bayer CropScience of Monheim, Germany, conditioned upon approval by the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau.
Consumer Alert executive director Fran Smith spoke at a Federal Trade Commission Public Workshop held October 9-10, 2002, on "Possible Anticompetitive Efforts to Restrict Competition on the Internet." The workshop's focus was on business-to-consumer companies that have had substantial growth in commerce via the Internet, but that also may have been hampered by anticompetitive restrictions.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-13 August 2002-US Federal Trade Commission approves KONE's acquisition of Partek (C)1994-2002 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com
Even the Federal Trade Commission isn't sure what to do about the issue of socalled "slotting allowances."

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