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Federal Trade Commission [September 26, 1914] - History

Federal Trade Commission [September 26, 1914] - History


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(An Act To create a Federal Trade Commission, to define its powers and duties, and for other purposes)

Be it enacted . ., That a commission is hereby created and established, to be known as the Federal Trade Commission (hereinafter referred to as the commission), which shall be composed of five commissioners, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Not more than three of the commissioners shall be members of the same political party. The first commissioners appointed shall continue in office for terms of three, four, five, six, and seven years, respectively, from the date of the taking effect of this Act, the term of each to be designated by the President, but their successors shall be appointed for terms of seven years. .. The commission shall choose a chairman from its own membership. No commissioner shall engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Any commissioner may be removed by the President for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office. A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining commissioners to exercise all the powers of the commission.

SEC. 3. That upon the organization of the commission and election of its chairman, the Bureau of Corporations and the offices of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Corporations shall cease to exist; and all pending investigations and proceedings of the Bureau of corporations shall be continued by the commission....

The principal office of the commission shall be in the city of Washington, but it may meet and exercise all its powers at any other place. The commission may, by one or more of its members, or by such examiners as it may designate, prosecute any inquiry necessary to its duties in any part of the United States.

SEC. 5. That unfair methods of competition in commerce are hereby declared unlawful.

The commission is hereby empowered and directed to prevent persons, partnerships, or corporations, except banks, and common carriers subject to the Acts to regulate commerce, from using unfair methods of competition in commerce.

Whenever the commission shall have reason to believe that any such person, partnership, or corporation has been or is using any unfair method of competition in commerce, and if it shall appear to the commission that a proceeding by it in respect thereof would be to the interest of the public, it shall issue and serve upon such person, partnership, or corporation a complaint stating its charges in that respect, and containing a notice of a hearing upon a day and at a place therein fixed at least thirty days after the service of said complaint. The person, partnership, or corporation so complained of shall have the right to appear at the place and time so fixed and show cause why an order should not be entered by the commission requiring such person, partnership, or corporation to cease and desist from the violation of the law so charged in said complaint. Any person, partnership, or corporation may make application, and upon good cause shown may be allowed by the commission, to intervene and appear in said proceeding by counsel or in person. The testimony in any such proceeding shall be reduced to writing and filed in the office of the commission. If upon such hearing the commission shall be of the opinion that the method of competition in question is prohibited by this Act, it shall make a report in writing in which it shall state its findings as to the facts, and shall issue and cause to be served on such person, partnership, or corporation an order requiring such person, partnership, or corporation to cease and desist from using such method of competition....

If such person, partnership, or corporation fails or neglects to obey such order of the commission while the same is in effect, the commission may apply to the circuit court of appeals of the United States, within any circuit where the method of competition in question was used or where such person, partnership, or corporation resides or carries on business, for the enforcement of its order, and shall certify and file with its application a transcript of the entire record in the proceeding, including all the testimony taken and the report and order of the commission. Upon such filing of the application and transcript the court shall cause notice thereof to be served upon such persons partnership, or corporation and thereupon shall have jurisdiction of the proceeding and of the question determined therein, and shall have power to make and enter upon the pleadings, testimony, and proceedings set forth in such transcript a decree affirming, modifying, or setting aside the order of the commission. The findings of the commission as to the facts, if supported by testimony, shall be conclusive. If either party shall apply to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence, and shall show to the satisfaction of the court that such additional evidence is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence in the proceeding before the commission, the court may order such additional evidence to be taken before the commission and to be adduced upon the hearing in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as to the court may seem proper. The commission may modify its findings as to the facts, or make new findings, by reason of the additional evidence so taken, and it shall file such modified or new findings, which, if supported by testimony, shall be conclusive, and its recommendation, if any, for the modification or setting aside of its original order, with the return of such additional evidence. The judgment and decree of the court shall be final, except that the same shall be subject to review by the Supreme Court upon certiorari as provided in section two hundred and forty of the Judicial Code.

Any party required by such order of the commission to cease and desist from using such method of competition may obtain a review of such order in said circuit court of appeals by filing in the court a written petition praying that the order of the commission be set aside.... The jurisdiction of the circuit court of appeals of the United States to enforce, set aside, or modify orders of the commission shall be exclusive.

Such proceedings in the circuit court of appeals shall be given precedence over other cases pending therein, and shall be in every way expedited. No order of the commission or judgment of the court to enforce the same shall in any wise relieve or absolve any person, partnership, or corporation from any liability under the antitrust acts. : . .

SEC. 6. That the commission shall also have power

(a) To gather and compile information concerning, and to investigate from time to time the organization, business, conduct, practices, and management of any corporation engaged in commerce, excepting banks and common carriers subject to the Act to regulate commerce, and its relation to other corporations and to individuals, associations, and partnerships.

(b) To require, by general or special orders, corporations engaged in commerce, excepting banks, and common carriers subject to the Act to regulate commerce, or any class of them, or any of them, respectively, to file with the commission in such form as the commission may prescribe annual or special, or both annual and special, reports or answers in writing to specific questions, furnishing to the commission such information as it may require as to the organization, business, conduct, practices, management, and relation to other corporations, partnerships, and individuals of the respective corporations filing such reports or answers in writing....

(c) Whenever a final decree has been entered against any defendant corporation in any suit brought by the United States to prevent and restrain any violation of the antitrust Acts, to make investigation, upon its own initiative, of the manner in which the decree has been or is being carried out, and upon the application of the Attorney General it shall be its duty to make such investigation. It shall transmit to the Attorney General a report embodying its findings and recommendations as a result of any such investigation, and the report shall be made public in the discretion of the commission.

(d) Upon the direction of the President or either House of Congress to investigate and report the facts relating to any alleged violations of the antitrust Acts by any corporation.

(e) Upon the application of the Attorney General to investigate and make recommendations for the readjustment of the business of any corporation alleged to be violating the antitrust Acts in order that the corporation may thereafter maintain its organization, management, and conduct of business in accordance with law..

(f) To make public from time to time such portions of the information obtained by it hereunder, except trade secrets and names of customers, as it shall deem expedient in the public interest; and to make annual and special reports to the Congress and to submit therewith recommendations for additional legislation; and to provide for the publication of its reports and decisions in such form and manner as may be best adapted for public information and use.

(g) From time to time to classify corporations and to make rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(h) To investigate, from time to time, trade conditions in and with foreign countries where associations, combinations, or practices of manufacturers, merchants, or traders, or other conditions, may affect the foreign trade of the United States, and to report to Congress thereon, with such recommendations as it deems advisable.

SEC. 8. That the several departments and bureaus of the Government when directed by the President shall furnish the commission, upon its request, all records, papers, and information in their possession relating to any corporation subject to any of the provisions of this Act, and shall detail from time to time such officials and employees to the commission as he may direct.

SEC. 9. That for the purposes of this Act the commission or its duly authorized agent or agents, shall at all reasonable times have access to, for the purpose of examination, and the right to copy any documentary evidence of any corporation being investigated or proceeded against; and the commission shall have power to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all such documentary evidence relating to any matter under investigation....

Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required from any place in the United States, at any designated place of hearing. And in case of disobedience to a subpoena the commission may invoke the aid of any court of the United States in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence....

No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing documentary evidence before the commission or in obedience to the subpoena of the commission on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to criminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture. But no natural person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may testify, or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, before the commission in obedience to a subpoena issued by it: Provided, That no natural person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.

SEC. II. Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to prevent or interfere with the enforcement of the provisions of the antitrust Acts or the Acts to regulate commerce, nor shall anything contained in the Act be construed to alter, modify, or repeal the said antitrust Acts or the Acts to regulate commerce or any part or parts thereof.

Approved, September 26, 19I4.


Federal Trade Commission Act

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Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), federal legislation that was adopted in the United States in 1914 to create the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to give the U.S. government a full complement of legal tools to use against anticompetitive, unfair, and deceptive practices in the marketplace. The act was thus designed to achieve two related goals: fair competition between businesses and protection of consumers against fraudulent business practices. To those ends, the act empowered the FTC to enforce provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, and it specifically barred the use of deceptive or false advertising. The act has been amended numerous times over the course of more than a century to expand the FTC’s authority and to adapt its mission to new industries.

Unlike the Sherman and Clayton acts, the FTCA allows an accused party to enter into a consent agreement with the FTC in which the party does not admit guilt but agrees never to engage in the questionable behaviour in the future. The FTCA also gives the FTC the power to issue cease-and-desist orders, which are enforceable by petition to a U.S. appellate court. Failure by a defendant party to act in accordance with the consent decree or cease-and-desist order can result in a finding of contempt and criminal referral to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), among other actions. In some circumstances, the FTC may make a criminal referral to the DOJ without first engaging in a regulatory action or may bring a civil suit against the defendant party. This may occur if the FTC believes that the behaviour is so grievous as not to warrant regulatory action or if the defendant party chooses to not cooperate with the FTC.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Brian Duignan, Senior Editor.


FTC BUREAUS

The FTC is administered by a five-member commission. Each commissioner is appointed by the President for a seven-year term with the advice and consent of the Senate. The commission must represent at least three political parties and the President chooses from its ranks one commissioner to be chairperson. The chairperson appoints an executive director with the consent of the full commission the executive director is responsible for general staff operations.

Three bureaus of the FTC interpret and enforce jurisdictional legislation: the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Bureau of Competition, and the Bureau of Economics.

Bureau of Consumer Protection

The Bureau of Consumer Protection is charged with protecting the consumer from unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent practices. It enforces congressional consumer protection laws and regulations issued by the Commission. In order to meet its various responsibilities, the Bureau often becomes involved in federal litigation, consumer, and business education, and conducts various investigations under its jurisdiction. The Bureau has divisions of advertising, marketing practices, credit, and enforcement.

Bureau of Competition

The FTC's Bureau of Competition is responsible for antitrust activity and investigations involving restraint of trade. The Bureau of Competition works with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, but while the Justice Department concentrates on criminal violations, the Bureau of Competition deals with the technical and civil aspects of competition in the marketplace.

Bureau of Economics

The Bureau of Economics predicts and analyzes the economic impact of FTC activities, especially as these activities relate to competition, interstate commerce, and consumer welfare. The Bureau provides Congress and the Executive Branch with the results of its investigations and undertakes special studies on their behalf when requested.


Contents

Following the Supreme Court decisions against Standard Oil and American Tobacco in May 1911, the first version of a bill to establish a commission to regulate interstate trade was introduced on January 25, 1912, by Oklahoma congressman Dick Thompson Morgan. He would make the first speech on the House floor advocating its creation on February 21, 1912. Though the initial bill did not pass, the questions of trusts and antitrust dominated the 1912 election. [7] Most political party platforms in 1912 endorsed the establishment of a federal trade commission with its regulatory powers placed in the hands of an administrative board, as an alternative to functions previously and necessarily exercised so slowly through the courts. [8] [9]

With the 1912 presidential election decided in favor of the Democrats and Woodrow Wilson, Morgan reintroduced a slightly amended version of his bill during the April 1913 special session. The national debate culminated in Wilson's signing of the FTC Act on September 26, 1914, with additional tightening of regulations in the Clayton Antitrust Act three weeks later. The new Federal Trade Commission would absorb the staff and duties of Bureau of Corporations, previously established under the Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903. The FTC could additionally challenge "unfair methods of competition" and enforce the Clayton Act's more specific prohibitions against certain price discrimination, vertical arrangements, interlocking directorates, and stock acquisitions. [7]

Member Political party Sworn in Term expiration*
Rebecca Slaughter Democratic May 2, 2018 September 26, 2022
Christine Wilson Republican September 26, 2018 September 26, 2025
Noah Joshua Phillips Republican May 2, 2018 September 26, 2023
Rohit Chopra Democratic May 2, 2018 September 26, 2019
Lina Khan (Chair) Democratic June 2021 September 26, 2024

Shortly after the U.S. Senate confirmed her as a commissioner, President Biden tapped her to serve as Chair of the Commission [10]

  • The FTC Act allows Commissioners to remain in their position after their term expires, until a replacement has been appointed.

List of former chairs Edit

List of former commissioners Edit

This is a recent list of former commissioners, starting in 1949: [11]

Commissioners Years
John J. Carson 1949 – 1953
Stephen J. Spingarn 1950 – 1953
Caspar Weinberger December 31, 1969 – August 6, 1970
Philip Elman April 21, 1961 – October 18, 1970
Miles Kirkpatrick September 14, 1970 – February 20, 1973
Everette MacIntyre September 26, 1961 – August 30, 1973
Mary Gardner Jones October 29, 1964 – November 2, 1973
David J. Dennison Jr. October 18, 1970 – December 31, 1973
Mayo J. Thompson July 8, 1973 – September 26, 1975
Lewis A. Engman February 20, 1973 – December 31, 1975
Calvin J. Collier March 24, 1976 – December 31, 1977
Stephen A. Nye May 5, 1974 – May 5, 1978
Elizabeth Hanford Dole December 4, 1973 – March 9, 1979
Paul Rand Dixon March 21, 1961 – September 25, 1981
David A. Clanton August 26, 1975 – October 14, 1983
Michael Pertschuk April 21, 1977 – October 15, 1984
George W. Douglas December 27, 1982 – September 18, 1985
James C. Miller III September 30, 1981 – October 5, 1985
Patricia P. Bailey October 29, 1979 – May 15, 1988
Margo Machol November 29, 1988 – October 24, 1989 [recess appointment]
Daniel Oliver April 21, 1986 – August 10, 1989
Terry Calvani November 18, 1983 – September 25, 1990
Andrew Strenio March 17, 1986 – July 15, 1991
Deborah K. Owen October 25, 1989 – August 26, 1994
Dennis A. Yao July 16, 1991 – August 31, 1994
Christine A. Varney October 17, 1994 – August 5, 1997
Janet D. Steiger August 11, 1989 – September 28, 1997
Roscoe B. Starek III November 19, 1990 – December 18, 1997
Mary L. Azcuenaga November 27, 1984 – June 3, 1998
Robert Pitofsky June 29, 1978 – April 30, 1981 & April 11, 1995 – May 31, 2001
Sheila F. Anthony September 30, 1997 – August 1, 2003
Timothy Muris June 4, 2001 – August 15, 2004
Mozelle W. Thompson December 17, 1997 – August 31, 2004
Orson Swindle December 18, 1997 – June 30, 2005
Thomas B. Leary November 17, 1999 – December 31, 2005
Deborah Platt Majoras August 16, 2004 – March 29, 2008
Pamela Jones Harbour August 4, 2003 – April 6, 2010
William Kovacic January 4, 2006 – October 3, 2011
J. Thomas Rosch January 5, 2006 - Sept 2012
Jon Leibowitz March 2, 2009 – March 7, 2013
Joshua D. Wright January 11, 2013 – August 24, 2015
Julie Brill April 6, 2010 – March 31, 2016
Edith Ramirez April 5, 2010 – February 10, 2017
Terrell McSweeny April 28, 2014 – April 27, 2018
Joseph Simons May 1, 2018 – January 29, 2021

Bureau of Consumer Protection Edit

The Bureau of Consumer Protection's mandate is to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. With the written consent of the Commission, Bureau attorneys enforce federal laws related to consumer affairs and rules promulgated by the FTC. Its functions include investigations, enforcement actions, and consumer and business education. Areas of principal concern for this bureau are: advertising and marketing, financial products and practices, telemarketing fraud, privacy and identity protection, etc. The bureau also is responsible for the United States National Do Not Call Registry.

Under the FTC Act, the Commission has the authority, in most cases, to bring its actions in federal court through its own attorneys. In some consumer protection matters, the FTC appears with, or supports, the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bureau of Competition Edit

The Bureau of Competition is the division of the FTC charged with elimination and prevention of "anticompetitive" business practices. It accomplishes this through the enforcement of antitrust laws, review of proposed mergers, and investigation into other non-merger business practices that may impair competition. Such non-merger practices include horizontal restraints, involving agreements between direct competitors, and vertical restraints, involving agreements among businesses at different levels in the same industry (such as suppliers and commercial buyers).

The FTC shares enforcement of antitrust laws with the Department of Justice. However, while the FTC is responsible for civil enforcement of antitrust laws, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice has the power to bring both civil and criminal action in antitrust matters.

Bureau of Economics Edit

The Bureau of Economics was established to support the Bureau of Competition and Consumer Protection by providing expert knowledge related to the economic impacts of the FTC's legislation and operation.

Other bureaus Edit

  • The FTC maintains an Office of Technology Research and Investigation to assist it in technology-related enforcement actions. [12]
  • The FTC generally selects its Chief Technologist from among computer science academics and noted practitioners. [13] The role has previously been filled by Steven K. Bellovin, Lorrie Cranor, Edward Felten, Ashkan Soltani, and Latanya Sweeney.
  • The FTC also maintains an academic in residence program, inviting leading legal scholars to join the FTC for a year as a Senior Policy Advisor. The role has been held by Tim Wu in 2011, [14] Paul Ohm in 2012, [15] and Andrea M. Matwyshyn in 2014. [16]

The FTC investigates issues raised by reports from consumers and businesses, pre-merger notification filings, congressional inquiries, or reports in the media. These issues include, for instance, false advertising and other forms of fraud. FTC investigations may pertain to a single company or an entire industry. If the results of the investigation reveal unlawful conduct, the FTC may seek voluntary compliance by the offending business through a consent order, file an administrative complaint, or initiate federal litigation. During the course of an regulatory activities, the FTC is authorized to collect records, but not on-site inspections. [17] : 23

Traditionally an administrative complaint is heard in front of an independent administrative law judge (ALJ) with FTC staff acting as prosecutors. The case is reviewed de novo by the full FTC commission which then may be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals and finally to the Supreme Court.

Under the FTC Act, the federal courts retain their traditional authority to issue equitable relief, including the appointment of receivers, monitors, the imposition of asset freezes to guard against the spoliation of funds, immediate access to business premises to preserve evidence, and other relief including financial disclosures and expedited discovery. In numerous cases, the FTC employs this authority to combat serious consumer deception or fraud. Additionally, the FTC has rulemaking power to address concerns regarding industry-wide practices. Rules promulgated under this authority are known as Trade Rules.

In the mid-1990s, the FTC launched the fraud sweeps concept where the agency and its federal, state, and local partners filed simultaneous legal actions against multiple telemarketing fraud targets. The first sweeps operation was Project Telesweep [18] in July 1995 which cracked down on 100 business opportunity scams.

In 1984, [19] the FTC began to regulate the funeral home industry in order to protect consumers from deceptive practices. The FTC Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide all customers (and potential customers) with a General Price List (GPL), specifically outlining goods and services in the funeral industry, as defined by the FTC, and a listing of their prices. [20] By law, the GPL must be presented to all individuals that ask, no one is to be denied a written, retainable copy of the GPL. In 1996, the FTC instituted the Funeral Rule Offenders Program (FROP), under which "funeral homes make a voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasury or appropriate state fund for an amount less than what would likely be sought if the Commission authorized filing a lawsuit for civil penalties. In addition, the funeral homes participate in the NFDA compliance program, which includes a review of the price lists, on-site training of the staff, and follow-up testing and certification on compliance with the Funeral Rule." [19]

One of the Federal Trade Commission's other major focuses is identity theft. The FTC serves as a federal repository for individual consumer complaints regarding identity theft. Even though the FTC does not resolve individual complaints, it does use the aggregated information to determine where federal action might be taken. The complaint form is available online or by phone (1-877-ID-THEFT).

The FTC has been involved in the oversight of the online advertising industry and its practice of behavioral targeting for some time. In 2011 the FTC proposed a "Do Not Track" mechanism to allow Internet users to opt-out of behavioral targeting.

The FTC, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice also empowers third-party enforcer-firms to engage in some regulatory oversight, e.g. the FTC requires other energy companies to audit offshore oil platform operators. [21] : 4

In 2013, the FTC issued a comprehensive revision of its Green guides, which set forth standards for environmental marketing. [22]

In the 2021 United States Supreme Court case, AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC, the Court found unanimously that the FTC did not have power under 15 U.S.C. § 13b of the FTC Act, amended in 1973, to seek equitable relief in courts, only injunctive relief. [23]

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45 grants the FTC power to investigate and prevent deceptive trade practices. The statute declares that "unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful." [24] Unfairness and deception towards consumers represent two distinct areas of FTC enforcement and authority. The FTC also has authority over unfair methods of competition between businesses. [25]

Deception practices Edit

In a letter to the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the FTC defined the elements of deception cases. First, "there must be a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer." [26] In the case of omissions, the Commission considers the implied representations understood by the consumer. A misleading omission occurs when information is not disclosed to correct reasonable consumer expectations. [26] Second, the Commission examines the practice from the perspective of a reasonable consumer being targeted by the practice. Finally the representation or omission must be a material one—that is one that would have changed consumer behavior. [26]

Dot Com Disclosures guide Edit

In its Dot Com Disclosures guide, [27] the FTC said that "disclosures that are required to prevent deception or to provide consumers material information about a transaction must be presented clearly and conspicuously." [27] The FTC suggested a number of different factors that would help determine whether the information was "clear and conspicuous" including but not limited to:

  • the placement of the disclosure in an advertisement and its proximity to the claim it is qualifying,
  • the prominence of the disclosure,
  • whether items in other parts of the advertisement distract attention from the disclosure,
  • whether the advertisement is so lengthy that the disclosure needs to be repeated,
  • whether disclosures in audio messages are presented in an adequate volume and cadence and visual disclosures appear for a sufficient duration, and
  • whether the language of the disclosure is understandable to the intended audience. [27]

However, the "key is the overall net impression." [27]

Cyberspace.com case Edit

In F.T.C. v. Cyberspace.com [28] the FTC found that sending consumers mail that appeared to be a check for $3.50 to the consumer attached to an invoice was deceptive when cashing the check constituted an agreement to pay a monthly fee for internet access. The back of the check, in fine print, disclosed the existence of this agreement to the consumer. The FTC concluded that the practice was misleading to reasonable consumers, especially since there was evidence that less than one percent of the 225,000 individuals and businesses billed for the internet service actually logged on. [28]

Gateway Learning case Edit

In In re Gateway Learning Corp. the FTC alleged that Gateway committed unfair and deceptive trade practices by making retroactive changes to its privacy policy without informing customers and by violating its own privacy policy by selling customer information when it had said it would not. [29] Gateway settled the complaint by entering into a consent decree with the FTC that required it to surrender some profits and placed restrictions upon Gateway for the following 20 years. [30]

Sears Holdings case Edit

In In the Matter of Sears Holdings Management Corp., the FTC alleged that a research software program provided by Sears was deceptive because it collected information about nearly all online behavior, a fact that was only disclosed in legalese, buried within the end user license agreement. [31]

Loot Boxes in Computer and Video Games as Gambling Edit

In November 2018 by request of US Senator Maggie Hassan, the FTC decided to investigate whether paid-for loot boxes, virtual items with random benefits in certain video games, were a form of gambling. [32] [33] [34] [35]

Money Now Funding / Cash4Businesses case Edit

In September 2013, a federal court closed an elusive business opportunity scheme on the request of the FTC, namely "Money Now Funding"/"Cash4Businesses". [36] The FTC alleged that the defendants misrepresented potential earnings, violated the National Do Not Call Register, and violated the FTC's Business Opportunity Rule in preventing a fair consumer evaluation of the business. [37] This was one of the first definitive actions taken by any regulator against a company engaging in transaction laundering, where almost US$6 million were processed illicitly. [38] [39]

In December 2018, two defendants, Nikolas Mihilli and Dynasty Merchants, LLC, settled with the FTC. [40] They were banned from processing credit card transactions but a monetary judgment of $5.8 million was suspended due to the defendants’ inability to pay.

OMICS Publishing Group case Edit

In 2016, the FTC launched action against the OMICS Publishing Group — "OMICS Group Inc., a Nevada corporation, also doing business as OMICS Publishing Group, iMEDPub LLC, a Delaware corporation, Conference Series LLC, a Delaware corporation, and Srinubabu Gedela" [41] — for producing predatory journals [42] and organising predatory conferences. This action, partly in response to on-going pressure from the academic community, [43] is the first action taken by the FTC against an academic journal publisher. [44] The complaint alleges that the defendants have been "deceiving academics and researchers about the nature of its publications and hiding publication fees ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars" [45] and notes that "OMICS regularly advertises conferences featuring academic experts who were never scheduled to appear in order to attract registrants" [43] and that attendees "spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on registration fees and travel costs to attend these scientific conferences." [45] Manuscripts are also sometimes held hostage, with OMICS refusing to allow submissions to be withdrawn and thereby preventing resubmission to another journal for consideration. [44] Jeffrey Beall has described OMICS as the worst-of-the-worst amongst the predatory publishers. [43] [46] In November 2017, a federal court in the District of Nevada granted a preliminary injunction that

"prohibits the defendants from making misrepresentations regarding their academic journals and conferences, including that specific persons are editors of their journals or have agreed to participate in their conferences. It also prohibits the defendants from falsely representing that their journals engage in peer review, that their journals are included in any academic journal indexing service, or any measurement of the extent to which their journals are cited. It also requires that the defendants clearly and conspicuously disclose all costs associated with submitting or publishing articles in their journals." [47]

Unfair practices Edit

Courts have identified three main factors that must be considered in consumer unfairness cases: (1) whether the practice injures consumers (2) whether the practice violates established public policy and (3) whether it is unethical or unscrupulous. [25]

FTC activities in the healthcare industry Edit

In addition to prospective analysis of the effects of mergers and acquisitions, the FTC has recently resorted to retrospective analysis and monitoring of consolidated hospitals. [48] Thus, it also uses retroactive data to demonstrate that some hospital mergers and acquisitions are hurting consumers, particularly in terms of higher prices. [48] Here are some recent examples of the FTC's success in blocking or unwinding of hospital consolidations or affiliations:


Historical Events on September 26

    Golden Bull of Sicily certified hereditary royal title in Bohemia for Přemyslid dynasty Battle of Maritsa: Serbia-Turkey Sultan Bajezid I beheads hundreds of crusaders Brussels Brabants/Limburgse audit-office established Frances Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind Sweden & Poland signs Peace of Altmark Peter Stuyvesant recaptures Dutch Ft Casimir from Swedish in Delaware

Great Plague of London

1665 Height of the Great Plague of London as 7,165 people die throughout the previous week

Drivers of death carts in London would go street-to-street extolling people to "bring out your dead" at the height of the London plague outbreak in 1665

Parthenon

1687 Acropolis in Athens attacked by Venetian army trying to eject Turks, damaging the Parthenon

    City council of Amsterdam votes to support William of Orange's invasion of England, which became the Glorious Revolution France, Spain & Sardinia sign anti-German covenant

Contract of Interest

1738 Scottish philosopher David Hume enters into a contract to publish the first two volumes of his seminal work "A Treatise of Human Nature" with John Noon in London

Event of Interest

1771 Denis Diderot's "Le Fils Naturel" premieres in Paris

Event of Interest

1777 British General William Howe occupies Philadelphia during American Revolution

    Fayette County, Pennsylvania created Britain & France sign trade agreement 4th US Postmaster General: Samuel Osgood of Mass takes office

Event of Interest

1789 Thomas Jefferson appointed 1st US Secretary of State John Jay becomes 1st US Chief Justice

Event of Interest

1792 Marc-David Lasource begins accusing Maximilien Robespierre of wanting a dictatorship for France

    A new Act of Succession is adopted by the Riksdag of the Estates and Jean Baptiste Bernadotte becomes heir to the Swedish throne. Russia, Prussia and Austria sign the Holy Alliance

Event of Interest

1815 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord resigns as Prime Minister of France

    Kapiolani defies Pele (Hawaiian volcano goddess) & lives Robert Montgomery Bird's play "The Gladiator" premieres in NYC Gaetano Donizetti's opera "Lucia di Lammermoor" premieres in Naples British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Tom Morris Sr. beats Willie Park Sr. by 4 strokes British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Tom Morris Sr. wins 4th title beats rival Willie Park Sr. by 2 strokes at 46, Morris remains oldest Open champion The first Shriners Temple (called Mecca) was established in New York City. 1st Grand International Rifle match held 1st Belgian parachute jump (Glorieux) Suriname army shoots on British-Indian contract workers, 7 killed

Event of Interest

1892 1st public appearance of John Philip Sousa's band (NJ)

    Italian general Oreste Baratieri lands in Massawa, Eritrea Victor Herbert and Harry Smith's operetta "The Fortune Teller" premieres at Wallack's Theater in New York City Boer General Botha fails to capture Fort Itala in Natal Great Britain annexes the Ashanti Kingdom and places it under the governor of the Gold Coast (Ghana) Charles Kleins "Music Master" premieres in NYC Earl Grey is named British governor-general of Canada GB Shaw's "How He Lied to Her Husband" premieres in NYC Pitts Lefty Leifield no-hits Phillies, 8-0 in 6 inning game New Zealand and Newfoundland each become dominions within the British Empire Ed Ruelbach becomes the first person to pitch a doubleheader shutout in major league baseball Federal Trade Commission formed to regulate interstate commerce Germans arrest A Max, mayor of Brussels Bishop speak against Catholics in trade unions British assault on Menin-street, France Beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, more than 1 million American soldiers in the largest and most costly offensive of WWI Yankee Ruth hits HRs 57 & 58 to beat Indians 8-7

Event of Interest

1923 Gustav Stresemann government ends resistance against occupiers in Ruhrgebied

    The Commonwealth Conference is held in London, where Britain recognizes the right of the Dominions to make treaties with foreign powers

PGA Championship

1925 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Olympia Fields CC: Defending champion Walter Hagen defeats Bill Mehlhorn, 6 & 5 in the final 3rd PGA crown overall, and 7th of his 11 major titles

    Italian sub "Sebastiano Veniero" lost off Sicily with 54 dead JB Fagan's "And So to Bed" premieres in London Shortest double header, Yanks lose 6-1 in 72 minutes & lose again 6-2 in 55 minutes to Browns. Yanks had already clinched pennant St James Theater (Erlanger) opens at 246 W 44th St NYC John Schrober becomes chancellor of Austria Sidney Kingsley's "Men in White" premieres in NYC British liner Queen Mary is launched

'I Have Heard The Voice of Adolf Hitler . . .'

1938 Adolf Hitler issues ultimatum to Czech government, demanding Sudenten Land

    German seaplane shoots KLM-aircraft (1 killed) Luftwaffe bombs Spitfire factory in Woolston, Southampton for second time, 30 killed Japanese troops attack French Indo-China Soviet forces occupy Estonia World War II: Battle of Arnhem ends in Allied failure as German forces link up on both sides of the Lower Rhine river and mop up last British resistance All old Dutch banknotes declared invalid

Historic Publication

1946 1st edition of Tintin (Kuifje), publishes until June 1993

    Happy Chandler announces Ford & Gillette to sponsor World Series Boston Braves win 1st NL championship since 1914

Hollywoodland

1949 Groundbreaking ceremony for the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, Los Angeles old Hollywoodland sign torn down, reconstruction of a replacement begins with just Hollywood

    Because of forest fire in Br Columbia, blue moon appears in England Phils pitcher Jim Konstanty makes record 71st appearance of year UN troops in Korean War recapture South Korean capital of Seoul Prof Youngblood demonstrates artificial heart in Paris Yanks clinch 4th straight & 19th AL pennant, beating A's 5-2 Shortstop Billy Hunter smashes final home run in St Louis Browns history during a 6-3 loss to Chicago WS at Busch Stadium franchise moves to Baltimore next season KERO TV channel 23 in Bakersfield, CA (CBS/NBC) begins broadcasting Polish government fires/imprisons Cardinal Wyszynski US & Spain sign defense treaty (4 US bases in Spain) Japanese ferry boat Toya Maru sinks in Strait of Tsugaru during a typhoon, 1,153 people die KODE TV channel 12 in Joplin, MO (ABC) begins broadcasting KUTV TV channel 2 in Salt Lake City, UT (NBC) begins broadcasting WANE TV channel 15 in Fort Wayne, IN (CBS) begins broadcasting WCAX TV channel 3 in Burlington, VT (CBS) begins broadcasting A's defeats Yanks 8-6 in last game franchise will play in Philadelphia

Event of Interest

1954 Yogi Berra plays his only game at 3rd & Mickey Mantle plays shortstop

    NY Stock Exchange worst price decline since 1929 Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's musical "West Side Story" premieres at the Winter Garden Theater in NYC

Election of Interest

1957 Dag Hammarskjöld re-elected secretary-general of UN


Background

During the Progressive Era, there was an effort to regulate monopolies through antitrust laws. In 1890, Congress passed the Sherman Act, which forbade “[e]very contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations,” and made it illegal “to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.” Questions about the Sherman Act that were raised in the 1911 U.S. Supreme Court cases Standard Oil Co. v United States and United States v. American Tobacco Co. made antitrust laws central to the 1912 election. This issue led in part to President Woodrow Wilson's election. Α]

In 1913, during his first year in office, Wilson created the Bureau of Corporations, which was tasked with investigating monopolistic business practices. Then, in 1914, with the backing of Wilson, the Federal Trade Commission Act created the Federal Trade Commission. The Senate approved the FTCA on September 8, 1914, by a vote of 43-5. The House approved the bill by voice vote on September 10, 1914. The commission was launched in March 1915. The FTC replaced the Bureau of Corporations, which was created under President Theodore Roosevelt, and expanded its authority. Α]


On This Day: September 26

On Sept. 26, 1960, the first televised debate between presidential candidates took place in Chicago as Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy squared off.

On Sept. 26, 1897, Paul VI, Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978, was born. Following his death on Aug. 6, 1978, his obituary appeared in The Times.

On Sept. 26, 1960, the first televised debate between presidential candidates took place in Chicago as Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy squared off.

On This Date

1789 Thomas Jefferson was appointed America&aposs first secretary of state and John Jay the first chief justice.
1888 Poet T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Mo.
1898 Composer George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1914 The Federal Trade Commission was established.
1950 United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans.
1957 The musical "West Side Story" opened on Broadway.
1969 The album "Abbey Road" by the Beatles was released.
1986 William H. Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court as an associate justice.
2000 Slobodan Milosevic conceded that his challenger, Vojislav Kostunica, had finished first in Yugoslavia&aposs presidential election. Milosevic declared a runoff, a move that prompted mass protests leading to his ouster.
2005 Army Pfc. Lynndie England was convicted by a military jury on six counts stemming from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.
2005 International weapons inspectors announced the Irish Republican Army&aposs full disarmament.
2007 Myanmar began a violent crackdown on protests, beating and dragging away dozens of monks.

Historic Birthdays

Paul VI 9/26/1897 - 8/6/1978 Italian pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1963-78).Go to obituary »

Woodrow Wilson creates Federal Trade Commission, Sept. 26, 1914

On this day in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation creating a bipartisan five-member body, to be known as the Federal Trade Commission, empowered to issue cease-and-desist orders to large corporations to curb unfair trade practices. The Senate had approved the bill on Sept. 8 by a 43-5 vote and the House followed suit on Sept. 10 by a voice vote.

Wilson saw the commission as a necessary tool to combat trusts, a political feature of what historians have come to call the Progressive Era. At the time, trust-busting efforts enjoyed wide bipartisan support. The first bill to establish such a commission was introduced on Jan. 12, 1912, by Rep. Dick Thompson Morgan (R-Okla.). He also made the first speech on the House floor urging its adoption on Feb. 21, 1912, and introduced an amended version of the bill in 1913.

The five commissioners are nominated by the president and subject to Senate confirmation. Under the FTC Act, no more than three commissioners may be from the same political party. Each commissioner’s term of office is seven years. The terms are staggered so that normally in a given year no more than one commissioner’s term expires.

As noted on the commission’s website, “Over the years, Congress passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anticompetitive practices. In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against “unfair and deceptive acts or practices. Since then, the commission also has been directed to administer a wide variety of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Pay-Per-Call Rule and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.”


Federal Trade Commission

When the Federal Trade Commission was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce, particularly those practiced by the Trusts. Since then, Congress has passed additional laws giving the agency greater authority to police anti-competitive practices. In 1938, Congress passed a broad prohibition against "unfair and deceptive acts or practices." Since that time, the Commission also has been authorized to administer a wide range of other consumer protection laws, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Pay-Per-Call Rule as well as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. In 1975, Congress gave the FTC authority to adopt industry-wide trade regulation rules.

The passage of the Federal Trade Commission Act was one of the major pieces of progressive legislation during the administration of Woodrow Wilson, although it should be noted that a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, Dick Thompson, made the first speech in favor of a Federal Trade Commission and the 1912 Republican National platform also supported it.

The FTC was authorized to enforce the provisions of the Clayton Antitrust Act as well as those of the FTC Act itself.


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