Although the Federal Trade Commission’s newly-released policy on Section 5—which grants the agency the authority to stop companies from using unfair methods of competition—offers three primary criteria for bringing cases, experts feel the statement may not provide enough in the way of specific examples of unfair methods of competition that would trigger cases.

This brief statement, the first-ever in more than 100 years after the FTC Act was enacted, provides some guidance and more information to help attorneys counsel and defend clients facing Section 5 inquiries, but ambiguity remains.

“This at least gives you some common language place to begin at FTC and with your clients,” said Jason Leckerman, a partner at Ballard Spahr. “It’s helpful in a sense that it’s a place to begin.”

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