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Did You Know

  • The FTC must consult the public before making decisions on utility regulation matters.
  • The FTC has the power to stop a merger.
  • If you have been misled about the price or nature of goods or services, you must first let the business try to resolve it before contacting the FTC.
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES THE FTC REGULATES [pdf]
When Free isn't Free PDF Print
It may well be the most powerful word in advertising. Everyone loves the idea of getting something for nothing and so, many companies use ‘freeness’ to attract customers. So we get offers of free gifts or prizes, ‘buy one, get one free’ deals, or even interest-free finance deals to encourage us to buy. However, we must be on the alert for instances of when ‘free’ isn’t really free. The Consumer Protection Act protects consumers against false free offers. Section 14 deals directly with free offers, forbidding companies from offering a “gift, prize or other free item” when they do not really intend on “providing [it] as offered.”

Goods cannot be considered free if:

  • The price of the goods or services the customer must buy in order to qualify for the free item has been increased to cover the cost or part of the cost of the free item.
  • The goods or services that the customer must buy can be purchased cheaper without the free item.

Remember, free should always mean free.

 
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Information for Consumers

 
2016 FTC Annual Report  [pdf]
 
2017 Annual Lecture Presentation   [pptx]
 
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Mr. John Davies, Senior Vice President of Compass Lexecon (Paris) delivers his presentation on Competition Policy and Economic Development – is there a link for Small Economies? to the audience at the FTC’s 13th Annual Lecture.