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Title 16 Part 0

Title 16 → Chapter I → Subchapter A → Part 0

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 16 Part 0

e-CFR data is current as of October 10, 2019

Title 16Chapter ISubchapter A → Part 0


Title 16: Commercial Practices


§0.1   The Commission.

The Federal Trade Commission is an independent administrative agency which was organized in 1915 pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (38 Stat. 717, as amended; 15 U.S.C. 41-58). It is responsible for the administration of a variety of statutes which, in general, are designed to promote competition and to protect the public from unfair and deceptive acts and practices in the advertising and marketing of goods and services. It is composed of five members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for terms of seven years.

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§0.2   Official address.

The principal office of the Commission is at Washington, DC. All communications to the Commission should be addressed to the Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580, unless otherwise specifically directed. The Commission's Web site address is www.ftc.gov.

[63 FR 71582, Dec. 29, 1998, as amended at 65 FR 78408, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.3   Hours.

Principal and field offices are open on each business day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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§0.4   Laws administered.

The Commission exercises enforcement and administrative authority under the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41-58), Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12-27), Robinson-Patman Act (15 U.S.C. 13-13b, 21a), Webb-Pomerene (Export Trade) Act (15 U.S.C. 61-66), Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. 181-229), Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 (15 U.S.C. 68-68j), Lanham Trade-Mark Act (15 U.S.C. 1064), Fur Products Labeling Act (15 U.S.C. 69-69j), Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (15 U.S.C. 70-70k), Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (15 U.S.C. 1331-1340), Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (15 U.S.C. 1451-1461), Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1601-1667f), Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681-1681u), Fair Credit Billing Act (15 U.S.C. 1666-1666j), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (15 U.S.C. 1691-1691f), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692-1692o), Electronic Fund Transfer Act (15 U.S.C. 1693-1693r), Hobby Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 2101-2106), Magnuson-Moss Warranty—Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act (15 U.S.C. 2301-2312, 45-58), Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6201-6422, 15 U.S.C. 2008), Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. 18a), Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 2801-2841), Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act of 1986 (15 U.S.C. 4401-4408), Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (15 U.S.C. 5701-5724), Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (15 U.S.C. 6101-6108), International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994 (15 U.S.C. 46, 57b-1, 1311-1312, 6201 & note, 6202-6212), Credit Repair Organizations Act (15 U.S.C. 1679-1679j), Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 6501-6506), Identity Theft Assumption and Deterrence Act of 1998 (18 U.S.C. 1028 note), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (15 U.S.C. 6801-6809), and other Federal statutes.

[65 FR 78408, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.5   Laws authorizing monetary claims.

The Commission is authorized to entertain monetary claims against it under three statutes. The Federal Tort Claims Act (28 U.S.C. 2671-2680) provides that the United States will be liable for injury or loss of property or personal injury or death caused by the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of its employees acting within the scope of their employment or office. The Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act of 1964 (31 U.S.C. 3701, 3721) authorizes the Commission to compensate employees' claims for damage to or loss of personal property incident to their service. The Equal Access to Justice Act (5 U.S.C. 504 and 28 U.S.C. 2412) provides that an eligible prevailing party other than the United States will be awarded fees and expenses incurred in connection with any adversary adjudicative and court proceeding, unless the adjudicative officer finds that the agency was substantially justified or that special circumstances make an award unjust. In addition, eligible parties, including certain small businesses, will be awarded fees and expenses incurred in defending against an agency demand that is substantially in excess of the final decision of the adjudicative officer and is unreasonable when compared with such decision under the facts and circumstances of the case, unless the adjudicative officer finds that the party has committed a willful violation of law or otherwise acted in bad faith, or special circumstances make an award unjust. Questions may be addressed to the Office of the General Counsel, (202) 326-2462.

[63 FR 36340, July 6, 1998]

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§0.6   [Reserved]

§0.7   Delegation of functions.

(a) The Commission, under the authority provided by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1961, may delegate, by published order or rule, certain of its functions to a division of the Commission, an individual Commissioner, an administrative law judge, or an employee or employee board, and retains a discretionary right to review such delegated action upon its own initiative or upon petition of a party to or an intervenor in such action.

(b) The Commission delegates its functions, subject to certain limitations, when no quorum is available for the transaction of business. The delegate or delegates are authorized to act in instances in which no party or intervenor would be adversely affected by the delegated action and entitled to seek review by the Commission, as provided by section 1(b) of Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1961, or in instances in which all such adversely affected parties or intervenors have waived such a right. In actions in which at least one Commissioner is participating, this delegation is to the participating Commissioner or to the body of Commissioners who are participating. In actions in which no Commissioner is available or no Commissioner is participating, the General Counsel in consultation, where appropriate, with the Directors of the Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition, and Economics shall exercise this delegated authority without power of redelegation. This delegation does not alter or affect other delegations to Commission staff. This delegation is only authorized for those instances in which the Commission lacks a quorum as set forth in Commission Rule 4.14(b), 16 CFR 4.14(b) (Commission quorum).

[83 FR 7110, Feb. 20, 2018]

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§0.8   The Chairman.

The Chairman of the Commission is designated by the President, and, subject to the general policies of the Commission, is the executive and administrative head of the agency. He presides at meetings of and hearings before the Commission and participates with other Commissioners in all Commission decisions. Attached to the Office of the Chairman, and reporting directly to him, and through him to the Commission, are the following staff units:

(a) The Office of Public Affairs, which furnishes information concerning Commission activities to news media and the public; and

(b) the Office of Congressional Relations, which coordinates all liaison activities with Congress.

[50 FR 53303, Dec. 31, 1985]

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§0.9   Organization structure.

The Federal Trade Commission comprises the following principal units: Office of the Executive Director; Office of the General Counsel; Office of the Secretary; Office of the Inspector General; Office of the Administrative Law Judges; Office of International Affairs; Bureau of Competition; Bureau of Consumer Protection; Bureau of Economics; and the Regional Offices.

[72 FR 9434, Mar. 2, 2007]

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§0.10   Office of the Executive Director.

The Executive Director, under the direction of the Chairman, is the chief operating official who develops and implements management and administrative policies, programs and directives for the Commission. The Executive Director works closely with the Bureaus on strategic planning and assessing the management and resource implications of any proposed action. In addition, the Executive Director manages the Commission's facilities and administrative services, financial management, information technology, and human resources.

[65 FR 78408, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.11   Office of the General Counsel.

The General Counsel is the Commission's chief law officer and adviser, who renders necessary legal services to the Commission, represents the Commission in the Federal and State courts, advises the Commission and other agency officials and staff with respect to questions of law and policy, including advice with respect to legislative matters and ethics, and responds to requests and appeals filed under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts and to intra- and intergovernmental access requests.

[65 FR 78408, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.12   Office of the Secretary.

The Secretary is responsible for the minutes of Commission meetings and is the legal custodian of the Commission's seal, property, papers, and records, including legal and public records. The Secretary, or in the Secretary's absence an Acting Secretary designated by the Commission, signs Commission orders and official correspondence. In addition, the Secretary is responsible for the publication of all Commission actions that appear in the Federal Register and for the publication of Federal Trade Commission Decisions.

[65 FR 78408, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.13   Office of the Inspector General.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established within the Federal Trade Commission in 1989 as required by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988 (5 U.S.C. app. 3). The OIG promotes the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of FTC programs and operations. To this end, the OIG independently conducts audits and investigations to find and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within the agency.

[65 FR 78408, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.14   Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Administrative law judges are officials to whom the Commission, in accordance with law, delegates the initial performance of statutory fact-finding functions and initial rulings on conclusions of law, to be exercised in conformity with Commission decisions and policy directives and with its Rules of Practice. The administrative law judges also serve as presiding officers assigned to conduct rulemaking proceedings under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act as amended and other rulemaking proceedings as directed. The Chief Administrative Law Judge also serves as the Chief Presiding Officer. Administrative law judges are appointed under the authority and subject to the prior approval of the Office of Personnel Management.

[54 FR 19885, May 9, 1989, as amended at 65 FR 78409, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.15   [Reserved]

§0.16   Bureau of Competition.

The Bureau is responsible for enforcing Federal antitrust and trade regulation laws under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Act, and a number of other special statutes that the Commission is charged with enforcing. The Bureau's work aims to preserve the free market system and assure the unfettered operation of the forces of supply and demand. Its activities seek to ensure price competition, quality products and services and efficient operation of the national economy. The Bureau carries out its responsibilities by investigating alleged law violations, and recommending to the Commission such further action as may be appropriate. Such action may include injunctive and other equitable relief in Federal district court, complaint and litigation before the agency's administrative law judges, formal nonadjudicative settlement of complaints, trade regulation rules, or reports. The Bureau also conducts compliance investigations and initiates proceedings for civil penalties to assure compliance with final Commission orders dealing with competition and trade restraint matters. The Bureau's activities also include business and consumer education and staff advice on competition laws and compliance, and liaison functions with respect to foreign antitrust and competition law enforcement agencies and organizations, including requests for international enforcement assistance.

[65 FR 78409, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.17   Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The Bureau investigates unfair or deceptive acts or practices under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act as well as potential violations of numerous special statutes which the Commission is charged with enforcing. It prosecutes before the agency's administrative law judges alleged violations of law after issuance of a complaint by the Commission or obtains through negotiation consented-to orders, which must be accepted and issued by the Commission. In consultation with the General Counsel, the Bureau may also seek injunctive or other equitable relief under section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Bureau participates in trade regulation rulemaking proceedings under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act and other rulemaking proceedings under statutory authority. It investigates compliance with final orders and trade regulation rules and seeks civil penalties or consumer redress for their violation, as well as injunctive and other equitable relief under section 13(b) of the Act. In addition, the Bureau seeks to educate both consumers and the business community about the laws it enforces, and to assist and cooperate with other state, local, foreign, and international agencies and organizations in consumer protection enforcement and regulatory matters. The Bureau also maintains the agency's public reference facilities, where the public may inspect and copy a current index of opinions, orders, statements of policy and interpretations, staff manuals and instructions that affect any member of the public, and other public records of the Commission.

[65 FR 78409, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.18   Bureau of Economics.

The bureau aids and advises the Commission concerning the economic aspects of all of its functions, and is responsible for the preparation of various economic reports and surveys. The bureau provides economic and statistical assistance to the enforcement bureaus in the investigation and trial of cases.

[41 FR 54483, Dec. 14, 1976. Redesignated at 45 FR 36341, May 29, 1980, and amended at 50 FR 53303, Dec. 31, 1985]

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§0.19   The Regional Offices.

(a) These offices are investigatory arms of the Commission, and have responsibility for investigational, trial, compliance, and consumer educational activities as delegated by the Commission. They are under the general supervision of the Office of the Executive Director, and clear their activities through the appropriate operating Bureaus.

(b) The names, geographic areas of responsibility, and addresses of the respective regional offices are as follows:

(1) Northeast Region (located in New York City, New York), covering Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Puerto Rico. Federal Trade Commission, One Bowling Green, Suite 318, New York, New York 10004.

(2) Southeast Region (located in Atlanta, Georgia), covering Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Federal Trade Commission, Suite 5M35, Midrise Building, 60 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

(3) East Central Region (located in Cleveland, Ohio), covering Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Federal Trade Commission, Eaton Center, Suite 200, 1111 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.

(4) Midwest Region (located in Chicago, Illinois), covering Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Federal Trade Commission, 55 East Monroe Street, Suite 1860, Chicago, Illinois 60603-5701.

(5) Southwest Region (located in Dallas, Texas), covering Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Federal Trade Commission, 1999 Bryan Street, Suite 2150, Dallas, Texas 75201.

(6) Northwest Region (located in Seattle, Washington), covering Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Federal Trade Commission, 915 Second Avenue, Suite 2896, Seattle, Washington 98174.

(7) Western Region (located in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California), covering Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

(i) San Francisco Office: Federal Trade Commission, 901 Market Street, Suite 570, San Francisco, California 94103.

(ii) Los Angeles Office: Federal Trade Commission, 10877 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700, Los Angeles, California 90024.

(c) Each of the regional offices is supervised by a Regional Director, who is available for conferences with attorneys, consumers, and other members of the public on matters relating to the Commission's activities.

[41 FR 54483, Dec. 14, 1976, as amended at 42 FR 27218, May 27, 1977; 43 FR 754, Jan. 4, 1978; 43 FR 6579, Feb. 15, 1978. Redesignated at 45 FR 36341, May 29, 1980, as amended at 50 FR 53303, Dec. 31, 1985; 63 FR 71582, Dec. 29, 1998; 64 FR 71284, Dec. 21, 1999; 65 FR 78409, Dec. 15, 2000]

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§0.20   Office of International Affairs.

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) comprises international antitrust, international consumer protection, and international technical assistance. OIA is responsible for designing and implementing the Commission's international program, which provides support and advice to the Bureaus of Competition and Consumer Protection with regard to the international aspects of investigation and prosecution of unlawful conduct. OIA builds cooperative relationships between the Commission and foreign authorities; works closely with Bureau personnel to recommend agency priorities and policies and works, through bilateral relationships and multilateral organizations, to promote those policies internationally; and implements Commission policy and participation in the competition and consumer protection aspects of trade fora and negotiations, such as the U.S. inter-agency delegations negotiating bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements. OIA works with authorized funding sources to develop and implement competition and consumer protection technical assistance programs.

[72 FR 9434, Mar. 2, 2007]

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