Annual Highlights 2011

Increasing International Collaboration

The FTC strives to promote sound approaches to common problems by building relationships with sister agencies around the world. The FTC and DOJ recently signed a landmark MOU with China's competition agencies, and reaffirmed a set of best practices for use in US/European Union merger reviews. These efforts foster consistent outcomes in antitrust investigations, especially international mergers. For example, the FTC cooperated with 10 foreign jurisdictions to review Western Digital's proposed acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and design remedies to resolve allegations that the deal would likely harm competition in the personal computer hard disk drive market.

The FTC continued successful implementation of the US SAFE WEB Act. This law strengthens the FTC's ability to fight cross-border fraud that harms U.S. consumers by allowing the agency both to share information with foreign law enforcement agencies and to obtain information on their behalf.

In recent months, the Commission urged the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to implement consumer protection safeguards before it dramatically expands the internet domain name system. The FTC warned that without additional protections, the rapid expansion in the number of generic top-level domain names will increase opportunities for consumer fraud.

The agency also continued its outreach to aid effective international cooperation by creating an online virtual university for competition authorities worldwide as part of the International Competition Network's Curriculum Project. In the last year, the FTC's technical assistance to foreign agencies included intensive training for the Competition Commission of India and for consumer protection agencies in Latin America.

Enforcement Highlights

Policy Highlights