About the FTC

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Our Mission

To prevent business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers; to enhance informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process; and to accomplish this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.

Our Vision

A U.S. economy characterized by vigorous competition among producers and consumer access to accurate information, yielding high-quality products at low prices and encouraging efficiency, innovation, and consumer choice.

Our Strategic Goals

  1. Protect Consumers: Prevent fraud, deception, and unfair business practices in the marketplace.
  2. Maintain Competition: Prevent anticompetitive mergers and other anticompetitive business practices in the marketplace.
  3. Advance Performance: Advance the FTC’s performance through organizational, individual, and management excellence.

How FTC Benefits Consumers 

As a consumer or business person, you may be more familiar with the work of the Federal Trade Commission than you think. The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American.

The FTC is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers’ interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies. FTC’s work is performed by the Bureaus of Consumer ProtectionCompetition and Economics. That work is aided by the Office of General Counsel and seven regional offices. Learn more about the FTC's Competition mission...

History of the FTC

When the FTC was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to “bust the trusts.” Over the years, Congress passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anticompetitive practices. In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.” Since then, the Commission also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In 1975, Congress gave the FTC the authority to adopt industry-wide trade regulation rules.

For a view of a Washington landmark...