This Day In Market History: Congress Creates The FTC

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened

On Sept. 26, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson's administration established the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to regulate business practices on behalf of consumers.

Where The Market Was

The S&P 500 traded around $7.68, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on its way down from $78.59 to $54.58.

What Else Was Going On In The World

World War I was in its second month, and the U.S. was preparing to install the Federal Reserve Bank in November.

FTC Cracks Down On Anti-Competitive Businesses

One hundred and eight years ago, Congress enacted antitrust legislation establishing a five-member bipartisan council to monitor business practices and ensure marketplace competition.

The new agency, which replaced and absorbed the Bureau of Corporations, was charged with challenging unfair competitive practices, including “price discriminations, vertical arrangements, interlocking directorships and stock acquisitions.”

Since its establishment, the FTC has won consumer battles regarding The Western Union Company WU’s money-laundering scams, Volkswagen’s emission scandals, DISH Network Corp DISH’s “do not call” violations, Herbalife Nutrition Ltd HLF’s multilevel marketing “scheme” and more.

Its investigations have led to various lawsuits limiting mergers and other business strategies and generally catalyze significant stock selloffs.

Related Links:

The FTC's Lawsuit Against LendingClub Could Have 'Manageable' Outcome, Says Morgan Stanley

The Under-The-Radar Senate Hearing More Meaningful To Facebook Than Zuckerberg Grilling

Public domain photo by Carol Highsmith via Wikimedia. 

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