FTC Approves Final Orders Settling Charges that Two Professional Associations Restrained Competition Among Members through their Codes of Ethics

For Your Information

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved separate final consent orders settling charges that two professional associations restrained competition among their members in violation of the FTC Act. The FTC first announced proposed consent orders with each association on December 16, 2013.

The Music Teachers National Association, Inc. (MTNA) represents over 20,000 music teachers nationwide and is the umbrella organization for about 500 state and local music teacher associations across the country. As alleged in the FTC’s complaint, MTNA and its members restrained competition in violation of the FTC Act through a code of ethics provision that restricted members from soliciting clients from rival music teachers.

In a separate complaint, the FTC charged that the California Association of Legal Support Professionals (CALSPro), which represents companies and individuals that provide legal support services in California, violated the FTC Act through code of ethics provisions that restrained its members from competing against each other on price, disparaging each other through advertising, and soliciting legal support professionals for employment.

Under the final consent orders approved by the FTC [MTNA consent | CALSPro consent], the two associations have agreed to eliminate the provisions in their codes of ethics that restrain competition among their members. The Commission vote approving each final order and letters to the public commenters [MTNA commenter letters | CALSPro commenter letters] was 4-0. (FTC File Nos. 131-0118 and 131-0205; the staff contact is Armando Irizarry, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2964)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161