The Essential Guide to FTC Compliance, Investigations, and Enforcement

By Kronenberger Rosenfeld, LLP

FTC laws and regulations are complex. Knowledge of these laws and how the FTC makes decisions is essential for compliance.

Written by the experienced FTC lawyers at Kronenberger Rosenfeld, The Essential Guide to FTC Compliance, Investigations, and Enforcement is a valuable resource for any company that must address FTC compliance, an FTC investigation, or an FTC lawsuit.

If you become involved in an FTC investigation or FTC lawsuit, an understanding of the FTC’s investigatory and decision-making processes are important for your own decision-making on how to respond to the FTC.

Topics Covered:

The FTC attorneys at Kronenberger Rosenfeld, a firm that focuses solely on internet, e-commerce, and technology legal matters, have released The Essential Guide to FTC Compliance, Investigations, and Enforcement. The firm took its over 15 years of experience as internet-focused legal counsel, plus its experience counselling clients on all aspects of FTC compliance and defense, and developed this valuable guide. Written for businesses and for attorneys who are not FTC practitioners, the guide is  truly essential for any business that is dealing with complying with FTC guidelines, responding to an FTC investigation, or defending against and an FTC lawsuit.

The first section of the Essential Guide, titled FTC Compliance, focuses on how businesses can comply with the many laws and regulations enforced by the FTC, as well as with guidelines authored by the FTC about how to comply with the FTC Act and other statutes. The compliance section of the Essential Guide includes:

  • Benefit claim substantiation in various high-risk marketing practices;
  • How to comply with FTC laws and regulations when engaging in affiliate marketing, running email campaigns, and engaging in telemarketing;
  • Best practices for FTC compliance in various categories, like business opportunities, the sale of dietary supplements, weight loss products, and anti-aging products.

The second section of the Essential Guide, titled FTC Investigations, focuses on how to respond to investigations by the FTC. Improper responses during an FTC investigation can prolong the investigation, or worse be a factor in the FTC’s decision-making on whether to start an enforcement action. The investigations section of the Essential Guide includes:

  • The general framework that governs FTC investigations, from the opening of an investigation, to either closure or the recommendation for an enforcement action;
  • Guidelines on responding to FTC Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs), including requests for documents, the answering of written questions, and hearings where testimony is provided;
  • General guidelines on what perspective the target of an investigation should have, and how such a company should communicate with the FTC about the investigation and any FTC CIDs.

The third section of the Essential Guide, titled FTC Enforcement, focuses on how to defend against an FTC enforcement action (i.e. an FTC lawsuit or administrative complaint). At the point of an enforcement action, the stakes are high, and in fact the future existence of a defendant in an FTC lawsuit may hang in the balance. The enforcement section of the Essential Guide includes:

  • The unique aspects of FTC litigation, including the FTC’s use of TROs and preliminary injunctions that include “asset freezes,” as well as the FTC’s use of administrative actions versus lawsuits in federal courts;
  • The common remedies of the FTC, including how the FTC calculates “consumer harm” that the FTC may demand be paid by defendants;
  • The FTC’s jurisdiction over international entities and over U.S. entities with operations overseas;
  • How settlements with the FTC work, what is negotiated, and what common components are usually included in a settlement with the FTC; and
  • The advantages of a company being represented by an experienced FTC attorney when negotiating with the FTC.

Whether it is FTC compliance, investigations, or enforcement, the lack of this knowledge may lead to severe consequences, including your business being shut down by the FTC.

Knowledge of the framework of FTC laws and regulations is essential to complying with these laws. And if you are facing an FTC investigation or FTC lawsuit, you need to know how the FTC investigates and how they make decisions, as this will influence how you make your own decisions in responding to the FTC. If you are dealing with FTC compliance, or if you are facing an FTC investigation or an FTC lawsuit, The Essential Guide to FTC Compliance, Investigations, and Enforcement will be a valuable resource.