The Federal Trade Commission is saying hello to 1996 by waving goodbye to thousands of administrative orders that are at least 20 years old.
The agency says that effective January 2, 1996, existing orders will terminate automatically after 20 years, as long as no violations have been alleged. The rule incorporating the new "sunset" policy for current consumer protection and antitrust cases follows an earlier FTC announcement that future orders would have a 20-year term.
Says FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky, "Sunsetting allows the Commission to eliminate unnecessary regulatory requirements and refocus its resources on todayþs bad actors. Clearing the decks of old orders that have long since served their purpose is pro-consumer, pro-competition, and just plain common-sense."
The new FTC policy does not apply to federal district court orders, many of which affect defendants involved in hard-core fraud.