Federal Trade Commission Act
The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (15 U.S.C §§ 41-58, as amended) (FTC Act) established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As initially established it consisted of a bipartisan body of five members appointed by the president of the United States for seven-year terms.
The FTC Act was one of President Woodrow Wilson's major acts against trusts, and the Clayton Antitrust Act would be signed three weeks later. While trusts and trust-busting long had been a significant political concern during the Progressive Era, the two Supreme Court decisions against Standard Oil and American Tobacco in May 1911 made it a dominant issue in the 1912 election. These acts were the culmination of that national debate.
This commission was authorized to issue “cease and desist” orders to large corporations to curb unfair trade practices. Some of the unfair methods of competition that were targeted include deceptive advertisements and pricing. It passed the Senate by a 43-5 vote on September 8, 1914; passed the House on September 10, without a tally of yeas and nays, and was signed into law by President Wilson on September 26.
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