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The Federal Trade Commission is an agency you should be familiar with. Bankrate explains it.
The Federal Trade Commission, also known as the FTC, is a federal agency that works to promote competition among businesses while protecting consumers at the same time. Bipartisan in nature, the FTC collaborates with law enforcement across the country to fulfill its mission.
In addition, the FTC cooperates with international agencies and organizations to protect U.S. consumer interests abroad.
One of the primary missions of the FTC is to protect U.S. consumers. The FTC does this by monitoring the marketplace and stopping any unfair or deceptive business practices. The FTC conducts investigations into unfair activities and sues companies on behalf of U.S. consumers when such practices take place. The agency also puts forth laws to help it accomplish its goals and to make the marketplace a vibrant, safe place to shop.
The biggest way the FTC monitors and influences the course of businesses in the U.S. is through merger review. Operating through the Bureau of Competition, the FTC monitors and prevents mergers or acquisitions that reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers, diminish the quality of goods or services, and reduce innovation.
The FTC also observes the business practices of companies around the world to make sure they are fair. Some of the activities considered unfair by the FTC include price fixing, group boycotts, and the formation of monopolies.
The FTC also offers the Consumer Sentinel Network, which gives law enforcement officials who are a part of the network access to consumer complaints about identity theft, telemarketing scams, credit scams and more.