Statutes Enforced or Administered by the Commission

The Commission has enforcement or administrative responsibilities under more than 70 laws. They are grouped here in three categories: (a) Statutes relating to both the competition and consumer protection missions; (b) statutes relating principally to the competition mission; and (c) statutes relating principally to the consumer protection mission.

The Federal Trade Commission Act is the primary statute of the Commission. Under this Act, the Commission is empowered, among other things, to (a) prevent unfair methods of competition, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce; (b) seek monetary redress and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers; (c) prescribe trade regulation rules defining with specificity acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive, and establishing requirements designed to prevent such acts or practices; (d) conduct investigations relating to the organization, business, practices, and management of entities engaged in commerce; and (e) make reports and legislative recommendations to Congress.

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Sports Agent Responsibility and Trust Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

15 U.S.C. § 7801-7807

This Act prohibits certain conduct by sports agents relating to the signing of contracts with student athletes. It makes it unlawful for an agent to directly or indirectly recruit a student athlete by giving any false or misleading information, making a false promise or representation, or providing anything of value to a student athlete, or anyone associated with the athlete, before he or she has entered into an agency contract.

Standards Development Organization Act of 2004

Mission:

Competition

Rule/Law:

codified to 15 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4306

This Act amends provisions of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993 to extend the same antitrust protections to standards development organizations (SDOs) while those organizations are engaged in standards development activity. The Act provides that the antitrust rule of reason applies to SDOs while they are engaged in standards development activities.

Telecommunication Act of 1996

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

Pub. L. No. 104-104

Section 701(b)(1) of the Act, amending section 204(1) of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (TDDRA), 15 U.S.C. § 5714(1), authorizes the Commission to expand upon the definition of "pay-per-call service (currently 900 number services)" to "other similar services providing audio information or audio entertainment if the Commission determines such services are susceptible to the unfair and deceptive practices" prohibited by the Commission's TDDRA rules.

Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

codified in relevant part at 15 U.S.C. §§ 6101-6108

The Act requires the Commission to promulgate regulations (1) defining and prohibiting deceptive telemarketing acts or practices; (2) prohibiting telemarketers from engaging in a pattern of unsolicited telephone calls that a reasonable consumer would consider coercive or an invasion of privacy; (3) restricting the hours of the day and night when unsolicited telephone calls may be made to consumers; and (4) requiring disclosure of the nature of the call at the start of an unsolicited call made to sell goods or services.

Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

codified in relevant part at 15 U.S.C. §§ 5701 et seq.

The Act requires the Commission to promulgate certain regulations respecting advertising for, operation of, and billing and collection procedures for, pay-per-call or "900 number" telephone services. The regulations must include certain provisions, such as price disclosure requirements, mandatory warnings on services directed to children, and required disclosures in billing statements. The Act also directs the Commission to promulgate a regulation extending to pay-per-call services the billing dispute provisions of the Fair Credit Billing Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1666 et seq.

Textile Fiber Products Identification Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

15 U.S.C. §§ 70-70k, as amended

This statute deals with mandatory content disclosure in the labeling, invoicing, and advertising of textile fiber products. Under the Act, misbranding is unlawful, as is falsely or deceptively invoicing or advertising textile fiber products. The Act also directs the Commission to establish a generic name for each man-made fiber that does not as yet have such a name.

Truth in Lending Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

15 U.S.C. §§ 1601-1667f, as amended

This Act (Title I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act) vests the Commission with responsibility for assuring compliance by most non-depository entities with a variety of statutory provisions. Specifically, the Act requires all creditors who deal with consumers to make certain written disclosures concerning finance charges and related aspects of credit transactions (including disclosing an annual percentage rate).

U.S. Safe Web Act

Mission:

Competition

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

Pub. L. No. 109-455, codified to the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § § 41 et seq.

This Act provides the FTC with a number of tools to improve enforcement regarding fraudulent spam, spyware, misleading advertising, privacy and security breaches, and other consumer protection matters, particularly those with an international dimension. Among other things, the Act allows increased cooperation with foreign law enforcement authorities through confidential information sharing, provision of investigative assistance, and enhanced staff exchanges.

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

Title 8 of Safe Port Act, Pub. L. 109-347, codified at 31 U.S.C. 5361 et seq.

This Act prohibits any person engaged in the business of betting, as defined, from knowingly accepting credit, electronic fund transfers, checks, or any other payment involving a financial institution to settle unlawful internet gambling debts. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board must develop jointly and prescribe regulations requiring payment systems to identify and block or otherwise prevent or prohibit the acceptance of payment for internet gambling transactions.

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

Pub. L. No. 103-322

Under Section 320933 of the Act (108 Stat. 2135, 15 U.S.C. § 45a), labels representing that a product is "Made in America" or "Made in the U.S.A." must conform with the domestic content requirements for such claims established by the Commission's decisions and orders. The current standard for making such claims is that the product's content of parts and labor must be "all or virtually all" domestic.

Webb-Pomerene Act

Mission:

Competition

Rule/Law:

15 U.S.C. §§ 61-66, as amended

Under this statute, the Commission is responsible for receiving certain filings from export trade associations organized under the Act; investigating association operations that may adversely affect competition within the United States; making recommendations to associations for business readjustments deemed necessary to comply with the law; and, where appropriate, making recommendations to the Attorney General for law enforcement action.

Wool Products Labeling Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

15 U.S.C. §§ 68-68j, as amended

Under this statute, the manufacture, introduction, sale, transportation, distribution, or importation of misbranded wool constitutes a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Act was amended, by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, Pub. L. No. 98-417, §§ 301-307, 98 Stat.

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