2020 US Code
Title 15 - Commerce and Trade
Chapter 2 - Federal Trade Commission; Promotion of Export Trade and Prevention of Unfair Methods of Competition
Subchapter I - Federal Trade Commission
Sec. 45 - Unfair methods of competition unlawful; prevention by Commission
|Citation||15 U.S.C. § 45 (2020)|
|Section Name||§45. Unfair methods of competition unlawful; prevention by Commission|
(a) Declaration of unlawfulness; power to prohibit unfair practices; inapplicability to foreign trade
(b) Proceeding by Commission; modifying and setting aside orders (c) Review of order; rehearing (d) Jurisdiction of court (e) Exemption from liability (f) Service of complaints, orders and other processes; return (g) Finality of order
(h) Modification or setting aside of order by Supreme Court (i) Modification or setting aside of order by Court of Appeals (j) Rehearing upon order or remand (k) "Mandate" defined (l) Penalty for violation of order; injunctions and other appropriate equitable relief (m) Civil actions for recovery of penalties for knowing violations of rules and cease and desist orders respecting unfair or deceptive acts or practices; jurisdiction; maximum amount of penalties; continuing violations; de novo determinations; compromise or settlement procedure
(n) Standard of proof; public policy considerations
Amendment of Section
For repeal of amendment by section 13 of Pub. L. 109–455, see Termination Date of 2006 Amendment note below.REFERENCES IN TEXT
The Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is act Aug. 15, 1921, ch. 64, 42 Stat. 159, as amended, which is classified to chapter 9 (§181 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 181 of Title 7 and Tables.CODIFICATION
In subsec. (a)(2), "part A of subtitle VII of title 49" substituted for "the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 [49 App. U.S.C. 1301 et seq.]" on authority of Pub. L. 103–272, §6(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1378, the first section of which enacted subtitles II, III, and V to X of Title 49, Transportation.
In subsec. (c), "section 1254 of title 28" substituted for "section 240 of the Judicial Code [28 U.S.C. 347]" on authority of act June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 869, the first section of which enacted Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.AMENDMENTS
2012—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 112–203, §1, amended Pub. L. 109–455, §13. See 2006 Amendment note below.
2006—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 109–455, §3, which added par. (4) extending the definition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices to include certain ones involving foreign commerce, was repealed by Pub. L. 109–455, §13, as amended by Pub. L. 112–203, §1. See Termination Date of 2006 Amendment note below.
1994—Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 103–312, §6(d), substituted a period for "; or" at end.
Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 103–312, §6(a), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "Upon the expiration of the time allowed for filing a petition for certiorari, if the order of the Commission has been affirmed, or the petition for review dismissed by the court of appeals, and no petition for certiorari has been duly filed; or".
Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 103–312, §6(b), amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (3) read as follows: "Upon the denial of a petition for certiorari, if the order of the Commission has been affirmed or the petition for review dismissed by the court of appeals; or".
Subsec. (g)(4). Pub. L. 103–312, §6(c), amended par. (4) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (4) read as follows: "Upon the expiration of thirty days from the date of issuance of the mandate of the Supreme Court, if such Court directs that the order of the Commission be affirmed or the petition for review dismissed."
Subsec. (m)(1)(B). Pub. L. 103–312, §4(a), inserted ", other than a consent order," after "a final cease and desist order" in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (m)(2). Pub. L. 103–312, §4(b), inserted at end "Upon request of any party to such an action against such defendant, the court shall also review the determination of law made by the Commission in the proceeding under subsection (b) that the act or practice which was the subject of such proceeding constituted an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of subsection (a)."
Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 103–312, §9, added subsec. (n).
1987—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 100–86 inserted "Federal credit unions described in section 57a(f)(4) of this title," after "section 57a(f)(3) of this title,".
1984—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–620 struck out provision that such proceedings in the court of appeals had to be given precedence over other cases pending therein, and had to be in every way expedited.
1982—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 97–290 added par. (3).
1980—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 96–252 added cl. (2) and provision following cl. (2) requiring that the Commission determine whether to alter, modify, or set aside any order of the Commission in response to a request made by a person, partnership, or corporation under paragraph (2) not later than 120 days after the date of the filing of such request.
1979—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 96–37 added savings and loan institutions described in section 57a(f)(3) of this title to the enumeration of entities exempted from the Commission's power to prevent the use of unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
1975—Pub. L. 93–637, §201(a), substituted "in or affecting commerce" for "in commerce" wherever appearing.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–145 struck out pars. (2) to (5) which permitted fair trade pricing of articles for retail sale and State enactment of nonsigner provisions, and redesignated par. (6) as (2).
Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 93–637, §§204(b), 205(a), added subsec. (m). Former subsec. (m), relating to the election by the Commission to appear in its own name after notifying and consulting with and giving the Attorney General 10 days to take the action proposed by the Commission, was struck out.
1973—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 93–153, §408(c), raised the maximum civil penalty for each violation to $10,000 and inserted provisions empowering the United States District Courts to grant mandatory injunctions and such other and further equitable relief as they might deem appropriate for the enforcement of final Commission orders.
Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 93–153, §408(d), added subsec. (m).
1960—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 86–507 substituted "mailing a copy thereof by registered mail or by certified mail" for "registering and mailing a copy thereof", and "mailed by registered mail or by certified mail" for "registered and mailed".
1958—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 85–909 substituted "persons, partnerships, or corporations insofar as they are subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921, as amended," for "persons, partnerships or corporations subject to the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921,".
Pub. L. 85–726, §1411, substituted "Federal Aviation Act of 1958" for "Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938".
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 85–791, §3(a), struck out "the transcript of" before "the record in the proceeding" in sixth sentence.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 85–791, §3(b), in second sentence, substituted "transmitted by the clerk of the court to" for "served upon", and "Commission shall file in the court the record in the proceeding, as provided in section 2112 of title 28" for "Commission forthwith shall certify and file in the court a transcript of the entire record in the proceeding, including all the evidence taken and the report and order of the Commission", and which, in third sentence struck out "and transcript" after "petition", inserted "concurrently with the Commission until the filing of the record" and struck out "upon the pleadings, evidence, and proceedings set forth in such transcript" before "a decree affirming".
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 85–791, §3(c), substituted "Upon the filing of the record with it the" for "The".
1952—Subsec. (a). Act July 14, 1952, amended subsec. (a) generally to permit fair trade pricing of articles for retail sale.
1950—Subsec. (l). Act Mar. 16, 1950, inserted last sentence to make each separate violation of a cease and desist order as a separate offense, except that each day of a continuing failure to obey a final order shall be a separate offense.
1938—Subsec. (a). Act June 23, 1938, inserted "air carriers and foreign air carriers subject to chapter 9 of title 49" in second par.
Act Mar. 21, 1938, amended section generally.CHANGE OF NAME
Act June 25, 1948, eff. Sept. 1, 1948, as amended by act May 24, 1949, substituted "court of appeals" for "circuit court of appeals".TERMINATION DATE OF 2006 AMENDMENT
Amendment by section 3 of Pub. L. 109–455 repealed effective Sept. 30, 2027, and provisions amended by Pub. L. 109–455 to be amended to read as if Pub. L. 109–455 had not been enacted, see section 13 of Pub. L. 109–455, set out as a note under section 44 of this title.EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1994 AMENDMENT
Pub. L. 103–312, §15, Aug. 26, 1994, 108 Stat. 1697, provided that:
"(a) In General.—Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e), the provisions of this Act [enacting section 57b–5 of this title, amending this section and sections 53, 57a, 57b–1, 57b–2, 57c, and 58 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 57c and 58 of this title] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1994].
"(b) Applicability of Section 5.—The amendment made by section 5 of this Act [amending section 57a of this title] shall apply only to rulemaking proceedings initiated after the date of enactment of this Act. Such amendment shall not be construed to affect in any manner a rulemaking proceeding which was initiated before the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1994].
"(c) Applicability of Section 6.—The amendments made by section 6 of this Act [amending this section] shall apply only with respect to cease and desist orders issued under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45) after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1994]. These amendments shall not be construed to affect in any manner a cease and desist order which was issued before the date of enactment of this Act.
"(d) Applicability of Sections 7 and 8.—The amendments made by sections 7 and 8 of this Act [amending sections 57b–1 and 57b–2 of this title] shall apply only with respect to compulsory process issued after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1994].
"(e) Applicability of Section 9.—The amendments made by section 9 of this Act [amending this section] shall apply only with respect to cease and desist orders issued under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45), or to rules promulgated under section 18 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a) after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1994]. These amendments shall not be construed to affect in any manner a cease and desist order which was issued, or a rule which was promulgated, before the date of enactment of this Act. These amendments shall not be construed to affect in any manner a cease and desist order issued after the date of enactment of this Act, if such order was issued pursuant to remand from a court of appeals or the Supreme Court of an order issued by the Federal Trade Commission before the date of enactment of this Act."EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1984 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 98–620 not applicable to cases pending on Nov. 8, 1984, see section 403 of Pub. L. 98–620, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1657 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1980 AMENDMENT
Pub. L. 96–252, §23, May 28, 1980, 94 Stat. 397, provided that: "The provisions of this Act [enacting sections 57a–1 and 57b–1 to 57b–4 of this title, amending this section and sections 46, 50, 57a, 57c, and 58 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 46, 57a, 57a–1, 57c, and 58 of this title], and the amendments made by this Act, shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [May 28, 1980]."EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1975 AMENDMENTS
Amendment by Pub. L. 94–145 effective upon expiration of ninety-day period beginning on Dec. 12, 1975, see section 4 of Pub. L. 94–145, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.
Amendment by section 204(b) of Pub. L. 93–637 not applicable to any civil action commenced before Jan. 4, 1975, see section 204(c) of Pub. L. 93–637, set out as a note under section 56 of this title.
Pub. L. 93–637, §205(b), Jan. 4, 1975, 88 Stat. 2201, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) of this section [amending this section] shall not apply to any violation, act, or practice to the extent that such violation, act, or practice occurred before the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 4, 1975]."EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1958 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 85–726 effective on 60th day following the date on which the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency first appointed under Pub. L. 85–726 qualifies and takes office, see section 1505(2) of Pub. L. 85–726. The Administrator was appointed, qualified, and took office on Oct. 31, 1958.EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1950 AMENDMENT
Amendment by act Mar. 16, 1950, effective July 1, 1950, see note set out under section 347 of Title 21, Food and Drugs.TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS
For transfer of functions of Federal Trade Commission, with certain exceptions, to Chairman of such Commission, see Reorg. Plan No. 8 of 1950, §1, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3175, 64 Stat. 1264, set out under section 41 of this title.PROHIBITING DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
Pub. L. 116–260, div. FF, title XIV, §1401, Dec. 27, 2020, 134 Stat. 3275, provided that:
"(a) Short Title.—This section may be cited as the 'COVID–19 Consumer Protection Act'.
"(b) In General.—For the duration of a public health emergency declared pursuant to section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d) as a result of confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID–19), including any renewal thereof, it shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, or corporation to engage in a deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce in violation of section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)) that is associated with—
"(1) the treatment, cure, prevention, mitigation, or diagnosis of COVID–19; or
"(2) a government benefit related to COVID–19.
"(c) Enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission.—
"(1) Violation.—A violation of subsection (b) shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)).
"(2) Powers of the federal trade commission.—
"(3) Effect on other laws.—Nothing in this Act [probably means "this section"] shall be construed to limit the authority of the Federal Trade Commission under any other provision of law.
"(d) Severability.—If any provision of this Act [probably means "this section"], or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this Act and the application of such provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected by the invalidation."CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSE COVERING GRANT OF DISTRICT SUBPENA ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY AND AUTHORITY TO GRANT PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
Pub. L. 93–153, §408(a), (b), Nov. 16, 1973, 87 Stat. 591, provided that:
"(a)(1) The Congress hereby finds that the investigative and law enforcement responsibilities of the Federal Trade Commission have been restricted and hampered because of inadequate legal authority to enforce subpenas and to seek preliminary injunctive relief to avoid unfair competitive practices.
"(2) The Congress further finds that as a direct result of this inadequate legal authority significant delays have occurred in a major investigation into the legality of the structure, conduct, and activities of the petroleum industry, as well as in other major investigations designed to protect the public interest.
"(b) It is the purpose of this Act [amending this section and sections 46, 53, and 56 of this title] to grant the Federal Trade Commission the requisite authority to insure prompt enforcement of the laws the Commission administers by granting statutory authority to directly enforce subpenas issued by the Commission and to seek preliminary injunctive relief to avoid unfair competitive practices."PURPOSE OF ACT JULY 14, 1952
Act July 14, 1952, ch. 745, §1, 66 Stat. 631, provided: "That it is the purpose of this Act [amending this section] to protect the rights of States under the United States Constitution to regulate their internal affairs and more particularly to enact statutes and laws, and to adopt policies, which authorize contracts and agreements prescribing minimum or stipulated prices for the resale of commodities and to extend the minimum or stipulated prices prescribed by such contracts and agreements to persons who are not parties thereto. It is the further purpose of this Act to permit such statutes, laws, and public policies to apply to commodities, contracts, agreements, and activities in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce."
1 So in original. Probably should be "clause".
|Publication Title||United States Code, 2018 Edition, Supplement 2, Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE|
|Category||Bills and Statutes|
|Collection||United States Code|
|SuDoc Class Number||Y 1.2/5:|
|Contained Within||Title 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 2 - FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION; PROMOTION OF EXPORT TRADE AND PREVENTION OF UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION
SUBCHAPTER I - FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Sec. 45 - Unfair methods of competition unlawful; prevention by Commission
|Laws In Effect As Of Date||January 13, 2021|
|Statutes at Large References||38 Stat. 719
42 Stat. 159
52 Stat. 111, 1028
62 Stat. 991, 869
63 Stat. 107
64 Stat. 21, 1264
66 Stat. 632, 631
72 Stat. 806, 942, 1750
74 Stat. 200
87 Stat. 591
88 Stat. 2193, 2201
89 Stat. 801
93 Stat. 95
94 Stat. 374, 397
96 Stat. 1246
98 Stat. 3358
101 Stat. 655
108 Stat. 1691, 1378, 1697
120 Stat. 3372
126 Stat. 1484
134 Stat. 3275
|Public Law References||Public Law 85-726, Public Law 85-791, Public Law 85-909, Public Law 86-507, Public Law 93-153, Public Law 93-637, Public Law 94-145, Public Law 96-37, Public Law 96-252, Public Law 97-290, Public Law 98-620, Public Law 100-86, Public Law 103-272, Public Law 103-312, Public Law 109-455, Public Law 112-203, Public Law 116-260|