To adjust for inflation, authorities increased the maximum FTC civil penalty from $16,000 to $40,000. These increases will affect 16 FTC provisions.
The Federal Trade Commission
Under the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, lawmakers established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as an independent government agency. The FTC’s primary goal is to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive business practices and fraud.
Originally, the agency’s only purpose was to prevent unfair competition. But through the years, Congress has bestowed more authority on the agency. These days it also responsible for policing anti-competitive business practices and various online marketing matters.
The FTC also stops business mergers that would kill consumer choice and construct unreasonable barriers to entry.
Due to provisions outlined in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjust Act, authorities increased the maximum dollar amount for certain FTC civil penalties from $16,000 to $40,000.
The new maximum civil penalties apply to all affected violations, even if the associated violation pre-dates the increase implementation date. After August 1, 2016, the amounts will be adjusted annually for inflation.
Although the FTC has no power to assess civil penalties, it can authorize federal courts to assess them. To determine a dollar amount, the FTC and court look at the degree of culpability, effect on continued business, history of previous violations or similar conduct, and ability to pay. To ease financial hardship, small businesses may apply for a leniency program.
Contact An FTC Lawyer
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