The FTC Turns 100

One hundred years ago, President Wilson signed the “Federal Trade Commission Act” into law. The Act provided:

(1) Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful.

(2) The Commission is hereby empowered and directed to prevent persons, partnerships, or corporations . . . from using unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.

Over the years, the FTC’s broad mandate to regulate that which is “unfair or deceptive” in commerce has enabled it to protect consumers even in an era of rapid technological change.


The Federal Trade Commission will be celebrating its centennial with a November 6th dinner followed by a day long symposium on November 7th.

As part of this celebration, the FTC is posting memories of some of its past and current workers.

A history of the FTC for its 90th anniversary is below.

Congratulations to all who have played a part in the FTC’s first century.