Roles of FTC In the Federal Government’s Law Enforcement

The government has many roles in the lives of us regular folk. Its main intention is to ensure that there is fair and honest practices, laws, and procedures being administered daily so that we can live normal, happy lives. This is debatable by some, but in the end, this is the intended result of governments and their organizations and agencies.

In the United States, one such commission is used to help protect the values and freedoms of consumers in the economic marketplaces both micro and macro in size and scope. This commission, known as the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), seeks to enforce rules and regulations to keep the common person protected in their purchasing power and rights.

What the FTC does is broad in scope because there are so many different ways that consumers need to be protected. They help in individual ways like protecting from predatory marketing tactics and they help protect our purchasing rights on a larger scale involving the ethics of business mergers. The FTC has many jobs, and here are their roles when it comes to federal government enforcement to help keep everyone protected.

Promoting Fair Competition

The largest role they may possibly have is to protect us from big business mergers and acquisitions. These mergers may not seem like something that impacts you as much as you might think, but the reality is that ethical business practices should discourage monopolies from forming. Big companies often buy out smaller ones, their competition, to protect their assets and interests. At the end of the day, this harms the consumer because it gives you fewer options for products or services. The FTC helps regulate these mergers to promote fair and open competition which gives everyone the right to seek alternatives in products or services. Fair competition is a cornerstone of a healthy market and economy and they seek to administer this enforcement.

Telemarketing Sales Practices

We all know someone who has been duped by duplicitous marketing tactics. These tactics can be simple cold calls or they can be sophisticated bot systems used through your phone, but the point is that they are not ethical nor are they legal in many cases. Telemarketing scams are widespread, and while it may be hard to stop them, there are plenty of FTC defense strategies that are in place to help prevent people from falling victim. The FTC helps work with legal representatives and law enforcement agencies to help stop companies from using these tactics on consumers, and their work is why many people have no fallen prey to these systems. This is a way that the FTC and the government, in coordination with the legal community, has helped step in and in a direct way protect you, the consumer.

Fair Credit Reporting

Consumer credit ratings and records are one of the most important financial tools that companies want access to, and it is very important that consumers’ credit ratings are secure as to avoid solicitation or other breaches of data. Credit rating and reporting is a vital aspect of the FTC’s scope of regulations because they need to ensure that consumers are able to protect this important information. The internet has caused a major shift in how hard it is for government bodies to help protect against unfair credit reporting, but the FTC helps keep credit reporting companies from selling or using your data in ways that are illegal or unethical. Having this data spread far and wide, and too questionable sources can be used to scam you or others, so fairness in the practice of credit reporting is an enforcement fit for the FTC.

Protect Consumers in the Global Marketplace

You may think that consumers in each region or country are susceptible only to the laws and regulations of those jurisdictions, but this is not true anymore. The global marketplace is becoming a much more impactful economic shift because we are interacting with different jurisdictions on a per-second basis at times. What this all means is that the FTC needs to work in close concert with the governments and regulatory bodies of other regions to ensure that practices that are fair or unfair in one area, are not impacting others and vice versa. There are no truly universal economic laws for the global marketplace, but the FTC has to work to ensure that American consumers aren’t going to be hurt by unsavory acts from other areas of the globe.

Protecting From Identity Theft

Identity theft has been one of the biggest ways that criminals have been using their skills to harm consumers. Just like duplicitous marketing tactics, you likely know someone who has had their identity stolen or used in one way or another. It could be as small as spoofing your IP address through a purchase, or as big as having your SSN stolen, but the FTC fights to make sure that law enforcement and government know what identity theft threats are out there. Protecting you and your valuable information is a never-ending fight, so compiling the data, educating consumers, and enacting laws to stamp out instances of identity theft violations is crucial in the fight for a fair marketplace.

Defending Consumer Rights

As you can see, there are plenty of consumer rights that are taken into question when it comes to the FTC’s enforcement of federal law, but the idea of protecting your consumer rights deserves some mention in a broader sense of the word.

Your credit ratings, your purchasing practices, how companies operate to provide products and services, and your security as a consumer are all valuable rights that the FTC must keep safe so that you are able to participate in economic and marketplace activity fairly. Without the FTC, it is hard to envision how safe and protected we would really be, which makes their regulation of laws set forth by the federal government that much more impactful for us in small, and big ways, whether we notice them or not.

The FTC may not be as glamorous a name when you think of government bodies, nor is it all that well known by consumers, but it is abundantly clear that the work they do is incredibly fundamental for making sure that we as consumers can feel safe operating within the sphere of the economy and marketplace.