FTC, CFTC Agree to Share Information on Energy Investigations

Agreement Will Foster Cooperation on Investigations Into Fraud-Based Market Manipulation

For Release

As part of their ongoing efforts to keep markets that they oversee open and fair for American consumers, the Federal Trade Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced that they signed an agreement to foster further cooperation between the two agencies by helping them share nonpublic information.

The FTC and CFTC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will facilitate sharing of non-public information on investigations being conducted by the agencies, including investigations into the oil and gasoline markets. The agreement will help the FTC enforce its petroleum market manipulation rule, which prohibits fraudulent manipulation of U.S. petroleum markets. Information-sharing also will help the CFTC in exercising its authority to pursue manipulation in the oil markets.

“It is important for regulators to share information to be able to pursue market manipulation wherever it arises,” CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler said. “I thank Chairman Leibowitz and the staff of the FTC for their work on this MOU and look forward to partnering with them in ensuring the integrity of the oil markets.”

“With gasoline prices on the rise, we are committed to doing all we can to ensure that petroleum markets are competitive,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Competition works to keep prices lower, and this MOU improves the ability of the FTC and CFTC to take action if and when we find market manipulation. I’d like to thank our CFTC partners for helping to improve the already excellent communication between our two agencies.”

Both the FTC and CFTC have authorities to take legal action to stop fraud-based manipulation of the petroleum markets. In addition, the CFTC has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate exchanges, clearing organizations and intermediaries in the U.S. futures industry. The MOU will further facilitate information sharing between the FTC and CFTC on regulatory issues of common interest, such as manipulation of oil and gasoline markets.

At the same time, the agreement states that the FTC and CFTC take all necessary steps to ensure that the confidentiality of this nonpublic information is maintained. It also provides that the agreement does not modify the agencies’ current abilities, responsibilities, or obligations to comply with existing laws or regulations, including the FTC’s confidentiality obligations under the premerger laws.

Both the FTC and the CFTC votes were unanimous in approving the MOU. It became effective when it was signed, and will remain in effect until it is terminated by either the FTC or CFTC.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

(FTC File No. 111-3000)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACTS:
FTC Office of Public Affairs
Mitchell J. Katz or Peter Kaplan,
202-326-2180

CFTC Office of Public Affairs
Scott Schneider,
202-418-5174