Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez released the agency’s 2013 Annual Highlights today at the Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law in Washington, D.C., recognizing the FTC’s continued efforts to protect consumers and promote competition.
The Highlights summarize Commission initiatives in multiple areas since April 2012, including promoting online privacy and data security, fostering competition in high-tech industries and healthcare, and safeguarding children and other vulnerable consumers.
“As we head into our second century, the FTC is dedicated to advancing consumer interests while encouraging innovation and competition in our dynamic economy,” Ramirez said.
The Highlights call attention to the FTC’s work across 11 broad categories, which include:
- Protecting Consumer Privacy: The FTC continues to raise the profile of privacy practices – online and off – through law enforcement, consumer education, and policy initiatives.
- Containing Health Care & Drug Costs: The FTC works to prevent anticompetitive mergers and conduct that might diminish competition in healthcare markets. Restricting anticompetitive “pay-for-delay” drug patent settlements continues to be an FTC priority.
- Fostering Competition & Innovation: The FTC examines difficult issues at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property law – issues related to innovation, standard-setting, and patents.
- Challenging Deceptive Advertising and Marketing: The FTC works to ensure that national advertisers can back up the claims they make for their products, especially health and safety claims.
- Safeguarding Children: The FTC enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, ensuring parents have the tools they need to protect their children’s privacy.
The Highlights identify initiatives the agency takes in advancing competitive principles and guarding consumers’ pocketbooks. As consumers continue to face financial challenges in a recovering economy, the FTC takes action to ensure that they are protected from abusive debt collection practices and fraudulent mortgage advertising.
The FTC also focuses on law enforcement and education efforts on topics trending in technology, such as monitoring consumer protection issues that may arise from the growing use of mobile devices. In addition, the agency made use of the Challenge.gov crowdsourcing platform, hosting the FTC Robocall Challenge to come up with new, innovative ways to block illegal prerecorded calls.
In monitoring environmental claims and energy markets, the agency closely scrutinizes mergers and acquisitions in the energy sector, and monitors environmental marketing to make sure it is truthful and based on scientific evidence. The Highlights also note the FTC’s efforts to collaborate with international partners.
Archives of past Annual Highlights and Reports are available on the FTC website.
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 2,000 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.
- MEDIA CONTACT:
- Cheryl Hackley