6. What is the “Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914”?
In 1914, the same year that the Clayton Act passed, Congress passed the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act). This act created the Federal Trade Commission, which is an independent administrative agency charged with consumer protection. The FTC bears primary responsibility for enforcing the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and the regulatory provisions of the FTC Act itself. The FTC pursues civil remedies, while the Department of Justice enforces the criminal (and some civil) provisions of the antitrust laws. State governments and private parties also have the ability to bring civil actions under the antitrust laws seeking civil damages or injunctions.
• Note: The specific types of conduct prohibited under The FTC Act is discussed below.
• Discussion: What do you think about centralizing enforcement of antitrust laws with a single administrative agency?
• Practice Question: What federal agency is charged with enforcing the antitrust laws and what is its statutory authority?