The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces United States federal antitrust laws through its Bureau of Competition. The two most significant sources of the FTC’s antitrust authority are the FTC Act and the Clayton Act. (The FTC also has statutory powers to enforce consumer protection laws, an area outside the scope of this overview.) The FTC Act prohibits unfair methods of competition, which includes, but is not limited to, any conduct that violates the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Clayton Act prohibits corporate acquisitions that may tend substantially to lessen competition.
The FTC may bring civil enforcement actions for violations of either the FTC Act or the Clayton Act. It shares civil enforcement authority with the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DoJ). Because the agencies have no formal division of responsibilities, they utilise an inter-agency clearance programme to ensure that they do not duplicate investigative efforts. With respect to criminal antitrust enforcement, the FTC has statutory authority to refer potentially criminal antitrust matters to the DoJ. Under the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act (IAEAA), the FTC may invoke its investigative tools to obtain materials from domestic sources for the use of foreign antitrust authorities, and may seek investigative assistance from those authorities pursuant to mutual or bilateral assistance agreements established under the IAEAA. (Full Article)
*"An extract from The Handbook of Competition Enforcement Agencies 2013 - a www.GlobalCompetitionReview.com Special Report.”