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.

Displaying 61 - 73 of 73

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. The Act further requires agents to provide student athletes with a disclosure document, warning them that they may lose their eligibility to compete as student athletes in their sports. The Act provides the Commission and state attorneys general with enforcement authority.

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. The Act also gives SDOs the opportunity to limit their antitrust liability for standards development activities to actual, as opposed to treble, damages and provides special rules for attorneys' fees in any antitrust case challenging a SDO's standards development activity. SDOs must file a proper notification with the FTC and the DOJ to obtain the liability-limiting protections provided by the Act.

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. The law expressly authorizes the Commission to include within the rules' coverage entities that "assist or facilitate" deceptive telemarketing practices. The Commission's rules can be found at 16 C.F.R. Part 310.

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. The Commission's rules can be found at 16 C.F.R. Part 308.

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.

The statute was amended by the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. No. 98-417) to require (1) that any textile fiber product processed or manufactured in the United States be so identified, and (2) that mail order promotional materials clearly and conspicuously indicate whether a textile fiber product was processed or manufactured in the United States or was imported.

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

Mission:

Consumer Protection

Rule/Law:

15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6506

This Act protects children's privacy by giving parents the tools to control what information is collected from their children online. Under the Act's implementing Rule (codified at 16 C.F.R. Part 312), operators of commercial websites and online services directed to or knowingly collecting personal information from children under 13 must: (1) notify parents of their information practices; (2) obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting a child's personal information; (3) give parents a choice as to whether their child's information will be disclosed to third parties; (4) provide parents access to their child's information; (5) let parents prevent further use of collected information; (6) not require a child to provide more information than is reasonably necessary to participate in an activity; and (7) maintain the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the information. In order to encourage active industry self-regulation, the Act also includes a "safe harbor" provision allowing industry groups and others to request Commission approval of self-regulatory guidelines to govern participating websites' compliance with the Rule.

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). The Act also establishes a three-day right of rescission in certain transactions involving the establishment of a security interest in the consumer's residence (with certain exclusions, such as interests taken in connection with the purchase or initial construction of a dwelling). The Act also establishes certain requirements for advertisers of credit terms. A number of later laws (including several listed separately below) made substantial amendments to this Act.

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. In certain limited circumstances it enables the FTC to obtain information in domestic or foreign consumer protection matters from third parties without tipping off investigative targets.

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. The FTC enforces the Act and regulations with respect to payment systems and financial transaction providers not specifically assigned to other agencies under GLB or the Commodities Exchange Act.

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. 1585, 1603, to require (1) that wool product labels indicate the country in which the product was processed or manufactured, and (2) that mail order promotional materials clearly and conspicuously state whether a wool product was processed or manufactured in the United States or was imported.

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