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U.S. Government Agencies: U.S. FTC – U.S. Federal Trade Commission

Primary Contacts

Alain Sheer
Senior Attorney, Division of Financial Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20580
Phone: 202.326.3321
Fax: 202.326.3392

General Overview of Agency Activities

The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers’ interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies.

When the FTC was created in 1914, its purpose was to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce as part of the battle to "bust the trusts". 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. In 1975, Congress gave the FTC the authority to adopt industry-wide trade regulation rules. The FTC’s work is performed by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics. That work is aided by the Office of General Counsel and seven regional offices.

. Learn more about individual branch offices and centers within the U.S. FDA.

Overview of Regulatory Activities

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection works to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. The Bureau conducts investigations, sues companies and people who violate the law, develops rules to protect consumers, and educates consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. The Bureau also collects complaints about consumer fraud and identity theft and makes them available to law enforcement agencies across the country. The Bureau has seven divisions, each with its own area of expertise.

  • Advertising Practices
  • Consumer and Business Education
  • Enforcement
  • Financial Practices
  • Marketing Practices
  • Planning & Information
  • Privacy and Identity Protection

. Learn more about FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

Standards Used in Regulation and Procurement

FTC has incorporated into its technical regulations and recognizes voluntary consensus standards developed by the following organizations:

This list may be incomplete and only attempts to name some of the standards developing organizations from which FTC has incorporated standards.

Conformity Assessment

FTC recognizes a variety of conformity assessment approaches on a sector-by-sector basis. For more information:

. Access FTC Business Information on how to comply with regulatory requirements

Quick Links

International Contacts

Randolph W. Tritell
Director, Office of International Affairs
U.S. Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
Phone: 202.326.2600
Fax: 202.326.3045

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