The Federal Trade Commission released their 2015 Annual Highlights today featuring some of the their best efforts to benefit consumers and promote competition over the past year. The FTC said their focus on protecting consumers in various industries ranged “from health care to the digital economy to basic consumer products and services” while also attempting to expand their knowledge and understanding of “emerging technologies and their impact on consumers.” These highlights address the FTC’s legal actions they took in 2015, including areas such as health care, technology, and other consumer products and services. For example, in the healthcare sector, the FTC sought to ensure truthful advertising of weight-loss, cancer detection, and cognitive development claims, along with continuing its efforts to maintain competition in important healthcare markets, including blocking three proposed hospital mergers because of “anticompetitive consolidation.”
In the technology sector, the FTC worked to protect consumers from fraud and deception in a rapidly changing marketplace, such as stopping a deceptive crowdfunding campaign, stopping the distribution of virtual currency-mining software, and stopping deceptive endorsements in online reviews and videos. Additionally, the FTC brought actions against technology companies to protect the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information. The FTC challenged deceptive practices and anticompetitive mergers in industries providing a range of other consumer products and services, such as bringing several law enforcement actions to stop practices in the sale and financing of automobiles.
The FTC announced that its “consumer protection accomplishments [were] as varied as: 118 orders for redress, disgorgement, or permanent injunction, and 117 new law enforcement actions,” among others. The FTC is making their focus on fighting fraud known and also spending its time and resources on consumer protection.