Funny how one person’s highlight may be another’s person’s lowlight.   When you talk “highlights” of the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission, you know that for some non-governmental institution, any action by them will constitute a lowlight for the non-governmental institution.  Recently, the FTC released their accomplishments for 2012 and here are a few.

Antitrust is a big part of the FTC’s purpose – essentially keeping a single company from a monopoly in a given industry.  In 2012, they allowed 16 mergers to proceed, but denied four mergers.

They also fined a number of companies for a variety of reasons:  John Beck of California was fined $478 million for misleading adverting practices.  According an FTC press release, they operated “three get rich quick schemes, including John Beck’s Free & Clear Real Estate System.”  The penalty also imposes a lifetime ban on three principals from taking part in the infomercial and telemarketing businesses.  It’s believed that close to one million consumers were ripped off by the scam.

Skechers shoes was fined $40 million for making false claims about their shoes and Google was fined over $22 million for search violations.

The leading complaint categories for 2012 include:  identity theft (18%), debt collection (10%), banks and lenders  and shop-at-home catalog sales at (6%), prizes, sweepstakes and lenders (5%), impostor scams (4%) and the industry with near the bottom was the credit card industry (3%).  I have to admit to being surprised there.

There you have it.  A quick glance of 2012 for the Federal Trade Commission.  Follow this link to more information on the FTC’s activities.