Unfair Acts in Commerce - Federal Trade Commission Act 15 U.S.C. Section 57
Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, codified at 15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1), declares that "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce" are unlawful.
Although the Federal Trade Commission is empowered to make regulations as to businesses or persons other than banks for the purpose of carrying out this provision, 15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1), Congress recognized the need for defining such acts or practices with specificity.
See Katharine Gibbs School, Inc. v. Federal Trade Comm'n, 612 F.2d 658, 662 (2d Cir. 1979) (quoting Conf. Rep. No. 93-1408, Joint Explanatory Statement of the Committee of Conference, reprinted in (1974) U.S. Code Cong. & Ad. News, pp. 7702, 7755, 7763) ("Because the prohibitions of section 5 of the Act are quite broad, trade regulation rules are needed to define with specificity conduct that violates the statute and to establish requirements to prevent unlawful conduct.").
In pertinent part, 15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B) provides that the Commission may prescribe "rules which define with specificity acts or practices in or affecting commerce within the meaning of section 45(a)(1) of this title."
Pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission Act, a violation of any rule under 57a(a)(1)(B) shall constitute an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of 45(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. 15 U.S.C. 57a(d)(3).
Similarly, regarding banks, the Federal Trade Commission Act provides that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System with respect to banks "shall prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of this section, including regulations defining with specificity such unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and containing requirements prescribed for the purpose of preventing such acts or practices." 15 U.S.C. 57a(f)(1).