Announced Action for December 14, 2004

For Your Information

Commission approval of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice regarding the adjustment for inflation of certain FTC civil penalty amounts. As detailed in the notice, which will be published shortly and is available now as a link to this press release on the FTC’s Web site, certain civil penalty amounts under statutes within the agency’s jurisdiction will be adjusted for inflation, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvements Act of 1996. The increases will become effective 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register.

For the relevant time period – between June 1996 and June 2003 – the Consumer Price Index (CPI), upon which the penalty increases are based, increased 17.2 percent. Applying this percentage increase to currently adjusted civil penalty amounts, the FTC will adjust the amounts set under two statutes: 1) the Clayton Act, Section 11(l), for violations of cease-and-desist orders issued under Section 11(b) of the Act; and 2) Section 525(a) of the Energy Policy Conservation Act, for recycled oil labeling violations, from $5,500 per violation to $6,500 per violation. The Federal Register notice explains that public comment is unnecessary, as the increases are mandatory and the FTC has no discretion in determining their amounts. The Commission vote to publish the Federal Register notice was 5-0. (FTC File No. P859907; staff contact is Alex Tang, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2447.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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