July 16, 2020 - Appellate & Supreme Court, FTC

U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision to Review a Pair of FTCA Cases Could Spell a Sea Change in FTC’s Enforcement Authority

The 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or “the Commission”) and empowered it to prevent, and provide redress to consumers affected by, unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. In 1973, Congress added Section 13(b) to the FTCA, providing the Commission with the power to seek “preliminary injunctions” as well permanent injunctions in “proper cases.” Although the provision’s language is narrow, the FTC has since read into Section 13(b) a more expansive authority to “halt deceptive practices” by seeking equitable remedies that look a lot like monetary relief, including asset freezes, the appointment of receivers, awards of restitution, and “other relief to redress injury from consumer frauds.”

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