The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 established the FTC as an independent government agency tasked with maintaining fair competition and protecting consumers. The Act prohibits unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. It grants the FTC the authority to seek legal remedies, including injunctions and the power to enforce penalties for violations. The Act also allows the FTC to conduct investigations, issue reports, and make legislative recommendations to Congress. The FTC is empowered to prevent businesses from using unfair practices and to promote consumer education and advocacy.
The Clayton Act, passed in 1914, aims to promote fair competition and prevent antitrust violations. It addresses issues such as price discrimination, exclusive dealing contracts, tying arrangements, and mergers and acquisitions that may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. The Act also regulates interlocking directorates and prohibits certain discriminatory practices that could harm competition. The FTC enforces various provisions of the Clayton Act, particularly those related to preventing and remedying anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions.
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires lenders to provide consumers with clear and standardized disclosures about the terms and costs of credit, including interest rates, fees, and other charges. The Act aims to promote informed use of credit by consumers and to protect them from inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices. The FTC enforces TILA's provisions against non-bank financial institutions and works to ensure that consumers receive the information they need to make knowledgeable decisions about credit.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. It is designed to ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of credit reporting agencies. The FCRA provides consumers with the right to access their credit information, dispute inaccuracies, and be informed when their credit report is used against them in decisions such as employment, insurance, or lending. The FTC enforces the FCRA and provides guidance to consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the Act.
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information from children under 13. The Act requires these operators to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children. The FTC enforces COPPA and provides guidance to businesses about how to comply with the Act's requirements.
The Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act authorizes the FTC to establish rules prohibiting deceptive telemarketing practices and other abusive telemarketing acts or practices. It led to the creation of the National Do Not Call Registry, which allows consumers to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. The Act also requires telemarketers to make certain disclosures and prohibits specific misrepresentations. The FTC enforces these rules and works to protect consumers from fraudulent telemarketing schemes.