The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, whose purpose is to promote antitrust and consumer protection laws, and to eliminate and prevent anticompetitive business practices in the franchise industry.
Its goal is to protect the consumer and ensure a strong competitive market by investigating complaints from consumers, business people, federal and government agencies, or trade associations.
The FTC also regulates standards for companies that operate electronic business sites. It has turned its attention to internet security issues in order to enforce consumer privacy protection standards on eCommerce sites.
Although it is a law enforcement agency, and lacks the authority to directly enforce its rulings, the FTC has the ability to argue its cases in court.
The FTC was created in 1915, under the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914, and is headquartered in Washington, DC.