On the first day of law school, students learn the Latin maxim Res ipsa loquitor – “The thing speaks for itself.” Pardon the inaccurate translation, but in the case of the FTC’s Annual Highlights, we think Tabula crustum ipsa loquitor – “The pie chart speaks for itself.” In other words, the statistical recap of the past year tells an important story about what the FTC is doing to protect consumers and promote competition.
On the consumer protection front, here’s how Acting Chairman Ohlhausen described 2016 at the FTC: “We continued to tackle the issues of most importance to consumers, including fraud utilizing traditional and novel platforms, deceptive advertising, privacy, and data security.” The Annual Highlights offer a detailed but to-the-point digest of the year in law enforcement, policy, and education.
Here are just a few notable statistics related to the FTC’s consumer protection mission in 2016:
- 70 actions filed;
- 117 redress, disgorgement, or permanent injunctions obtained;
- 16 conferences or workshops, 7 rulemakings, and 10 reports;
- $11.9 billion in redress and disgorgement (That doesn’t include amounts that courts suspended based on defendants’ inability to pay);
- 5.3 million consumers received redress directly from the FTC; and
- 15 million educational publications ordered and another 58 million pages of information viewed.