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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) What It Is and What It Does

File Photo: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) What It Is and What It Does
File Photo: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) What It Is and What It Does File Photo: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) What It Is and What It Does

What is the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)?

The FTC, an independent, nonpartisan U.S. organization, protects consumers and promotes market competition. FTC Chair Lina Khan

Its main objective is to enforce non-criminal antitrust laws in the U.S. to prevent and eliminate anticompetitive economic practices, including coercive monopolies. The FTC also protects consumers from exploitative or deceptive business activities.

A comprehension of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission)

The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 established the FTC as part of the Wilson administration’s trust-busting operations. It enforced the Clayton Act, which prohibited monopolies.

The Roosevelt administration established the Bureau of Corporations in February 1903, before the FTC. The Bureau of Corporations, part of the Department of Commerce and Labor, ensured enterprises behaved in the public interest. The FTC was created after the Bureau of Corporations’ success.

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition investigates mergers with the DOJ to deter anticompetitive activity. With time, the FTC has enforced more business restrictions under Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Core Functions of the Federal Trade Commission

The FTC investigates consumer, business, and media fraud, deceptive advertising, congressional inquiries, and pre-merger notice filings.

The FTC may probe one firm or an industry. An FTC inquiry can seek voluntary compliance by consent order, federal litigation, or administrative complaint if one or more corporations in an industry have engaged in illegal activity. An administrative law judge (ALJ) hears such a complaint, which can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.

The FTC also handles scams and misleading advertising. The Bureau of Consumer Protection investigates abuses, enforces them, and educates consumers. The Federal Bureau of Consumer Protection manages the National Do Not Call Registry.

The Telemarketing Sales Rule, Pay-Per-Call Rule, and Equal Credit Opportunity Act are also FTC-enforced. The Commission is in charge of enforcing or administering more than 70 statutes.

The Bureau of Economics supports the other two FTC divisions with research, including possible implications of FTC actions.

Actions of the Federal Trade Commission as Examples

The 1984 FTC Funeral Rule prohibits funeral homes from charging false charges and requires them to provide a documented General Price List (GPL) to anybody who requests one.

The legislation requires that everyone be given a written copy of GPL and permitted to retain it. The FTC established the Funeral Rule Offenders Program in 1996, which enables guilty funeral homes to make payments to the federal government or a state fund to avoid going to court.

In 1995, the CIA launched Project Telesweep to stop at least 100 phony business opportunity frauds.

The FTC blocked Putney Memorial Hospital’s acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center due to consumer damage. The Supreme Court sided with the FTC in 2013.

Recently, in 2021, the FTC ordered Amazon to pay more than $61 million for failing to pay Amazon Flex drivers all of their customer tips. Amazon is accused of promising Flex drivers 100% of client tips when delivering and informing consumers. It kept Flex drivers’ tips for almost two years.

The 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act?

The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 established the FTC and gave the U.S. government complete authority to prosecute dishonest firms.

The FTC regulates what?

By exposing market deception and unfairness, the FTC can regulate commerce. It also enforces antitrust and consumer protection laws.

How do you complain to the FTC?

Customers can complain to the FTC online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Identity theft hotline (1-877-ID-THEFT) and the National Do Not Call Registry (1-888-382-1222) are additional FTC services.

FTC Complaints: What Happens?

The FTC sends complaints to over 3,000 law enforcement agencies. FTC reports on fraud, unfair business practices, and scams are based on complaints.


  • A nonpartisan federal agency, the FTC enforces antitrust laws and protects consumers.
  • To combat trust, President Woodrow Wilson passed it into law in 1914.
  • FTC investigations include fraud, misleading advertising, legislative inquiries, and pre-merger notices.
  • The FTC handles fraud and unscrupulous business activities.
  • The FTC’s Bureau of Competition investigates mergers with the Department of Justice to prohibit anticompetitive activity.


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