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to health or where there is intent to defraud or mislead, constitutes a misdemeanor; and conviction subjects the offender to a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both. Succeeding convictions may result in a fine of not more than $10,000, or imprisonment of not more than 1 year, or both. The statute provides that the Commission shall certify this type of case to the Attorney General for institution of appropriate court proceedings. Compliance Activities Through systematic and continuous review, the Commission obtains and maintains compliance with its cease-and-desist orders. All respondents against whom such orders have been issued are required to file reports with the Commission to substantiate their compliance. In the event compliance is not obtained, or if the order is subsequently violated, civil penalty proceedings may be instituted. Violation of a Commission order that has been affirmed and enforced by a decree of a U.S. court of appeals makes the respondent further subject to contempt proceedings in the court of appeals. Trade Regulation Rules The Commission is authorized to issue trade regulation rules specifically defining acts or practices that are unfair or deceptive. A rule may also specify steps to prevent such practices from occurring. Such rules may be limited to certain industries or be applicable to all businesses within the Commission's jurisdiction. Rules are promulgated under specific procedures for participation of interested parties, including oral hearings and comments. The Commission's decision to issue a rule may be appealed to a United States court of appeals. Once a rule has become final, the Commission can institute a civil proceeding in a United States district court for knowing violations of the rule and seek civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and consumer redress.
Cooperative Procedures In carrying out the statutory directive to "prevent" the use in commerce of unfair practices, the Commission makes extensive use of
voluntary and cooperative procedures. Through these procedures business and industry may obtain authoritative guidance and a substantial measure of certainty as to what they may do under the laws administered by the Commission.
Whenever it is practicable, the Commission will furnish an advisory opinion as to whether a proposed course of conduct, if pursued, would be likely to result in further action by the
Commission. Such opinions are binding on the Commission but are subject to the right of the Commission to reconsider and rescind the opinion should the public interest require. Information submitted will not be used as the basis for a proceeding against the requesting party without prior notice and opportunity to discontinue the course of action pursued in good faith in reliance upon the Commission's advice.
Industry guides are administrative interpretations in laymen's language of laws administered by the Commission for the guidance of the public in conducting its affairs in conformity with legal requirements. They provide the basis for voluntary and simultaneous abandonment of unlawful practices by members of a particular industry or industry in general. Failure to comply with the guides may result in corrective action by the Commission under applicable statutory provisions. Consumer Protection Consumer protection is one of the two main missions of the Commission. In addition to preventing the use of unfair or deceptive advertising and marketing practices generally, the Commission enforces a number of specific laws that help consumers.
One of the laws the Commission enforces is the Consumer Credit Protection Act, which establishes, among other things, rules for the use of credit cards, the disclosure of the terms on which open- and closed-end credit is granted, and the disclosure of the reasons a business uses in determining not to grant credit.
The Truth in Lending Act is one part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Its
purpose is to ensure that every customer who has need for consumer credit is given meaningful information with respect to the cost of that credit. In most cases the credit cost must be expressed in the dollar amount of finance charges, and as an annual percentage rate computed on the unpaid balance of the amount financed. Other relevant credit information must also be disclosed so that the customer may compare the various credit terms available to him from different sources and avoid the uninformed use of credit. The act further provides a customer the right, in certain circumstances, to cancel a credit transaction involving a lien on his or her residence. The Truth in Lending Act was amended in October 1970 to regulate the issuance, holder's liability, and the fraudulent use of credit cards. New credit cards may be issued only in response to a request or application by the person who is to receive the card. Also, the liability to the cardholder for unauthorized use of a credit card is specifically limited to $50 if the cardholder has taken reasonable steps to notify the card issuer of the loss or theft. The act also establishes penalties for the fraudulent use of credit cards in interstate or foreign commerce when the aggregate retail value is $5,000 or more. The Commission enforces the requirements of the Truth in Lending Act over finance companies, retailers, non-Federal credit unions, and other creditors not specifically regulated by another Government agency, and persons or their agents who issue credit cards.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, another part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, represents the first Federal regulation of the vast consumer reporting industry, covering all credit bureaus, investigative reporting companies, detective and collection agencies, lenders' exchanges, and computerized information reporting companies. The purpose of this act is to ensure that consumer reporting activities are conducted in a manner that is fair and equitable, upholding the consumer's right to privacy as against the informational demands of others. The consumer is given several important new rights, including the right to notice of
reporting activities, the right to access to information contained in consumer reports, and the right to correction of erroneous information that may have been the basis for a denial of credit, insurance, or employment.
Under the Wool Products Labeling Act, the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, and the Fur Products Labeling Act, the Commission engages in compliance investigations, inspections, and industry counseling; issues registered identification numbers; and records continuing guaranties. The Commission has published rules and regulations under these statutes, together with illustrations of acceptable labeling, which supply full information concerning their
requirements. In connection with the Fur Act, the Commission has issued a register of animal names, known as the Fur Products Name Guide, for use in properly describing furs and fur products. Economic Competition (Antitrust) The second major mission of the Commission is to encourage competitive forces in the American economy. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Commission seeks to prevent unfair practices that may keep one company from competing with others. Under the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act, the Commission attempts to prevent mergers of companies if the result may be to lessen competition. Under some circumstances, companies planning to merge must first give notice to the Commission and the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division and provide certain information concerning the operations of the companies involved.
The Commission also enforces the provisions of the Robinson-Patman Act, a part of the Clayton Act prohibiting companies from discriminating among other companies that are its customers in terms of price or other services provided. Economic Factfinding The Commission makes economic and statistical studies of conditions and problems affecting competition in the economy. Reports of this nature may be in support of legislative proposals, in response to requests of the Congress and statutory directions, or for the
information and guidance of the Commission and the executive branch of the Government as well as the public. Not only have the reports provided the basis for significant legislation but, by spotlighting uneconomic or otherwise objectionable trade practices, they have also led in many instances to voluntary changes in the conduct of business, with resulting benefits to both industry and the public.
Advocacy Activities (Intervention) To promote competition, consumer protection, and the efficient allocation of resources, the Commission has an active program designed to advocate the consumer interest in a competitive marketplace by encouraging courts, legislatures, and government administrative bodies to consider efficiency and consumer welfare as important elements in their deliberations. This is accomplished by appearances before legislative, judicial, or regulatory
bodies at the local, State, or Federal level of government when the decisions of these bodies may have implications affecting competition, efficiency, and consumer welfare.
The Commission uses these opportunities to support procompetitive means of regulating the Nation's economy, including the elimination of anticompetitive government regulation that reduces the welfare of consumers and the implementation of regulatory programs that truly protect the public and preserve as much as possible the discipline of competitive markets. The competition and consumer advocacy program relies on persuasion rather than coercion. It is intended to help legislators and government officials better understand the consumer welfare implications of proposed actions in the belief that this understanding will result in policy decisions that benefit consumers and the economy.
CHICAGO-Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minne- 55 E. Monroe St., Chicago, IL 60603 sota, Missouri, Wisconsin
Phoebe D. Morse
CLEVELAND-Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West 118 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114 Mark Kindt Virginia, Delaware, Maryland
DALLAS-Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Okla- 8303 Elmbrook Dr., Dallas, TX 75247
DENVER-Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska,
LOS ANGELES—Arizona, southern California
NEW YORK-New Jersey, eastern New York
SAN FRANCISCO-Northern California, Hawaii, Nevada
SEATTLE-Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Sources of Information
1405 Curtis St., Denver, CO 80202
Claude C. Wild III
11000 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA Marcy J.K. Tiffany 90024
26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278 James M. Giffin,
901 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Contracts and Procurement Persons seeking to do business with the Federal Trade Commission should contact the Office of Procurement and General Services, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580. Phone, 202326-2259.
Employment Civil service registers are used in filling positions for economists,
Acting Janet Grady
George J. Zweibel
accountants, consumer protection specialists, and other professional, administrative, and clerical personnel. The Federal Trade Commission employs a sizable number of attorneys under the excepted appointment procedure. All employment inquiries should be directed to the Director of Personnel, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580. Phone, 202-326-2020.
General Inquiries Persons desiring
Publications A copy of the Federal
which lists a number of publications of interest to the general public, is available free upon request from the Public Reference Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580. Phone, 202-326-2222.
For further information, contact the Director, Office of Public Affairs, Federal Trade Commission, Pennsylvania Avenue at Sixth Street NW., Washington, DC 20580. Phone, 202-326-2180.
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
Administrator of General Services
Chief of Staff
Special Counsel for Ethics and Civil Rights
Director of Small and Disadvantaged Business
Associate Administrator for Policy Analysis
Associate Administrator for Public Affairs
Associate Administrator for Congressional and
Deputy Associate Administrator for
Congressional and Industry Relations Director of Congressional Affairs
Director of Business and Industry Affairs Director of Regional Operations Associate Administrator for Administration Executive Assistant to the Associate
Administrator for Administration
Director of Personnel
Director of Management Services
Director of Administrative Programs and
Director, Committee Management Secretariat
Associate Administrator for Operations
Deputy to the Associate Administrator for
JOHN E. ALDERSON, Acting
DAVID F. GODFREY, Acting
G. GARY KOWALCZYK
RICHARD BARNETT, Acting
ANTHONY ARTIGLIERE, Acting
PAUL T. WEISS
THOMAS M. FLEMMING
SALLY K. MARSHALL
JON R. HALSALL, Acting
JAMES L. DEAN
MANLEY H. GRIMSTEAD
WILLIAM R. BARTON