The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a federal entity that sets FTC laws all companies must comply with, no matter their industry or size. The issues below represent some of the most important FTC laws to consider when analyzing your company’s FTC compliance procedures. A Priori FTC attorney can help you comply with all FTC requirements and FTC laws and address any issues as they arise.
The FTC was created to regulate, monitor, and prevent anti-competitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices. To do this, the FTC monitors companies and industries to ensure that they do not unfairly treat or mislead their customers. This makes the purview of the FTC incredibly far-reaching. FTC laws are applicable to every company in business in the U.S. today.
Areas of FTC Compliance
Because of the FTC's broad scope, reviewing FTC compliance can be a complex process for companies. Here are some of the key areas of FTC compliance that affect most companies.
The FTC enforces antitrust laws to discourage "anticompetitive" business practices. This generally means that mergers and acquisitions must be approved by the FTC. In addition, the FTC investigates any potential horizontal and vertical restraints to business, which means that supply chain agreements your company contracts for and potential anticompetitive behavior with direct competitors will fall under FTC scrutiny.
Advertising and Marketing
Almost all advertising and marketing laws are enforced by the FTC, including the truth in advertising guidelines, product labeling laws, telemarketing campaign restrictions, and even laws that determine which products can be marketed to children. Your advertising department must be aware of these restrictions and strictly adhere to them, especially if you are in certain industries subject to even more regulation.
Financial Products and Practices
While most securities laws fall under the purview of the SEC, some are enforced by the FTC, especially products marketed to the general public, so you must be careful to find out if stock offerings will need additional FTC compliance consideration. In addition, if your company offers financial products to customers, these products require clear disclosures and careful execution for FTC compliance. This even includes layaway practices and payment plans, so most companies will need to consider these rules, even if they are outside of the financial industry.
Investigating fraud is a large part of the FTC's purpose. Obviously, this includes outright scams, but it also concerns “deceptive claims” not backed by proper evidence. Any claims made by a product or in an offer must be properly vetted by an FTC attorney for FTC compliance.
Privacy and Data Protection
Privacy and data protection should be of great concern to all companies today, especially as the FTC steps up enforcement of privacy laws. Your company should be careful to put privacy policies in place, as well as proper safeguards to protect data. If breaches occur, an increasingly common event, you not only face serious public relations problems, but also FTC scrutiny and potential penalties.
E-Commerce and Internet Marketing
The internet is a growing area of FTC law. If you have any sort of web presence, you must comply with e-commerce regulations and internet marketing laws. These regulations are constantly changing, which means that every company should have someone dedicated to looking out for potential online liabilities and FTC compliance risks.
Depending on your needs, the cost of hiring an FTC attorney through Priori's marketplace will vary. Hourly rates for FTC attorneys typically range from $200 per hour to $500 per hour. In order to get a better sense of cost for your particular situation, put in a request to schedule a complimentary consultation and to receive a free price quote from one of our FTC attorneys.
How do I know what FTC compliance issues affect my company?
Since FTC laws and regulations affect companies in many different ways, it can be difficult to touch on every possible issue here, not to mention to establish which issues may affect your company in particular. If you are concerned with FTC compliance, talk to an FTC attorney about your unique business situation.