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The Federal Trade Commission today announced it will host a workshop on October 17, 2008, in Washington, DC, to examine the scope of the prohibition of unfair methods of competition in Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 45. The workshop will consider the appropriate scope of Section 5 in light of legal precedent, economic learning, and changing business practices in a global and high-tech economy. The event is free and open to the public.

As detailed in a Federal Register notice issued to announce the event, the FTC currently is seeking the views of the legal, academic, and business communities. The notice contains a list of specific questions on which the Commission is interested. It also explains that the workshop will examine more general subject areas: 1) the history of Section 5, including its enactment by Congress, the FTC’s enforcement, and the courts’ response; 2) the range of possible interpretations of Section 5; and 3) examples of business conduct that may be unfair methods of competition under Section 5. The FTC is specifically interested in input from the business community on the last of these three issues.


The workshop will be held at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. A government-issued photo ID is required for entry. Pre-registration is not required. Members of the public and press who cannot attend can view a live webcast of the workshop on the FTC’s Web site.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to or by calling Ossie L. Neal at 202-326-2358. Such requests should include a description of the accommodations needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please make this request in advance.

For more information on the October workshop, including the Federal Register notice, how to file comments, directions to the conference center, and other relevant information, please visit: All comments in response to the Federal Register notice must be submitted no later than October 24, 2008. The Commission vote approving issuance of the Federal Register notice announcing the workshop and soliciting electronic and written comments was 4-0. A tentative agenda for the workshop will be announced in the near future.

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 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
Neil W. Averitt,
Bureau of Competition