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Federal Trade Commission
Mission | Who's in Charge

Tuesday, April 2, 2002


The FTC enforces antitrust and consumer protection laws to make sure the nation's markets are competitive and business practices are conducted fairly and honestly. The FTC reviews and approves proposed mergers, such as the recent AOL Time Warner marriage. In general, the FTC works toward blocking monopolies and maintaining choices for consumers.

Key Issues:

Among its current top issues are monitoring privacy issues on the Internet and advertising aimed at children, particularly those promoting violent entertainment games, shows and movies.

Recently appointed Chairman Timothy J. Muris has pledged to continue the FTC's efforts to police the Internet for false advertising claims, including a recent crackdown on firms marketing dietary supplements on the Web. Muris also has said his agency will monitor energy prices for evidence of collusion, a hot issue in light of the California energy crisis.

Who's in Charge:

The FTC is headed by five commissioners, nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, each serving a seven-year term. No more than three commissioners can be of the same political party.

• Chairman Timothy J. Muris, Republican, was nominated by President Bush and sworn in June 4.
• Sheila F. Anthony, a Democrat, term expires in 2002.
• Mozelle Thompson, Democrat, term expires in 2003.
• Orson Swindle, Republican, term expires in 2004.
• Thomas B. Leary, Republican, term expires in 2005.

On the Web:


Consumer.gov, the FTC's site compiling consumer information from throughout the federal government, including articles on stroller recalls, Internet health fraud, minivan crash test ratings and lyme disease treatment.

FTC's site on identity theft.