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Deception and Unfairness The Federal Trade Commission FTC was founded in 1914 after the enactment of the Federal Trade Commission Act The Commission is headed by five Commissioners nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate each serving a seven-year term The President chooses one Commissioner to act as Chairman No more than three Commissioners can be of the same political party The Federal Trade Commission enforces a variety of federal antitrust and consumer protection laws The Commission seeks to ensure that the nations markets function competitively and are vigorous efficient and free of undue restrictions The Commission also works to enhance the smooth operation of the marketplace by eliminating acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive Federal Trade Commission 1999 In general the Commissions efforts are directed toward stopping actions that threaten consumers opportunities to exercise informed choice Federal Trade Commission 1999 Finally the Commission undertakes economic analysis to support its law enforcement efforts and to contribute to the policy deliberations of the Congress the Executive Branch other independent agencies and state and local governments when requested Federal Trade Commission 1999 The primary responsibility of the FTC is to keep the United States economy free and fair Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act empowers the FTC to prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices Barnes Bowers Langvardt Mallor Phillips 1988 Deception 3 The Federal Trade Commission Act also prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commercial settings This enables the FTC to govern and regulate a broad range of activities that disadvantage customers In regulating activities the FTC would need to prove an activity is deceptive or unfair If the FTC decides to proceed against the alleged offender they must enter a formal complaint The case would then be heard in a public administrative hearing called an adjudicative proceeding A FTC judge would preside over this proceeding If an appeal were desired
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