Federal Trade Commission

Apex Building, built in 1938 (FTC headquarters) in Washington, D.C.
Federal Trade Commission entrance doorway in Washington, DC

Independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection.

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Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914

Frame of an animation by the Federal Trade Commission intended to educate citizens about phishing tactics.

The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 was a United States federal law which established the Federal Trade Commission.

Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914

Part of United States antitrust law with the goal of adding further substance to the U.S. antitrust law regime; the Clayton Act seeks to prevent anticompetitive practices in their incipiency.

"The Bosses of the Senate", an 1889 political cartoon by Joseph Keppler depicting corporate interests—from steel, copper, oil, iron, sugar, tin, and coal to paper bags, envelopes, and salt—as giant money bags looming over the tiny senators at their desks in the Chamber of the United States Senate.

Section 7a,, requires that companies notify the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division of any contemplated mergers and acquisitions that meet or exceed certain thresholds.

Consumer protection

Practice of safeguarding buyers of goods and services, and the public, against unfair practices in the marketplace.

Sign showing Code of Buyers. Fuel outlet, Jaipur
Code of Seller. Fuel outlet, Jaipur
Consumer protection laws often mandate the posting of notices, such as this one which appears in all automotive repair shops in California

Entities that promote consumer protection include government organizations (such as the Federal Trade Commission in the United States), self-regulating business organizations (such as the Better Business Bureaus in the US, Canada, England, etc.), and non-governmental organizations that advocate for consumer protection laws and help to ensure their enforcement (such as consumer protection agencies and watchdog groups).

United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division

Division of the U.S. Department of Justice that enforces U.S. antitrust law.

It has exclusive jurisdiction over American criminal antitrust prosecutions, and shares jurisdiction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over civil antitrust cases.

United States Department of Commerce and Labor

Short-lived Cabinet department of the United States government, which was concerned with controlling the excesses of big business.

In 1915, the Bureau of Corporations was spun off as an independent agency, the Federal Trade Commission.

Independent agencies of the United States government

Independent agencies of the United States federal government are agencies that exist outside the federal executive departments (those headed by a Cabinet secretary) and the Executive Office of the President.

The headquarters of the Federal Reserve System
A USPS truck in the snow

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces federal antitrust and consumer protection laws by investigating complaints against individual companies initiated by consumers, businesses, congressional inquiries, or reports in the media. The commission seeks to ensure that the nation's markets function competitively by eliminating unfair or deceptive practices.

Identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.

Example of an identity theft crime: 1. The fraudster files tax return paperwork in the victim's name, claiming a refund. 2. The IRS issues a refund to the fraudster. 3. The victim submits their legitimate tax return. 4. The IRS rejects the return as a duplicate.
US Government Accountability Office diagram showing the identity theft risk associated with social security numbers on Medicare cards

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that about nine million people will be victims of identity theft in the United States per year.

False advertising

Defined as the act of publishing, transmitting, or otherwise publicly circulating an advertisement containing a false, misleading, or deceptive statement, made intentionally or recklessly to promote the sale of property, goods, or services.

Listerine advertisement, 1932. The FTC found that the claim of these advertisements, reduced likelihood of catching cold, was false.
Marlboro barcode subliminal advertising on the Ferrari F10 of Fernando Alonso

In the United States, the federal government regulates advertising through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with truth-in-advertising laws and enables private litigation through various statutes, most significantly the Lanham Act (trademark and unfair competition).

Lina Khan

Official portrait, 2021
Khan in 2016, speaking on a panel about Amazon and antitrust law

Lina M. Khan (born March 3, 1989) is an American legal scholar and chair of the Federal Trade Commission.

Federal Trade Commission Building

Federal Trade Commission Building in 2005
Apex Building under construction in 1937.
Man Controlling Trade by Michael Lantz

The Federal Trade Commission Building is a federal building which serves as the headquarters of the Federal Trade Commission.