U.S. Government Bodies Empowered to Investigate Complaints

With reference to Article 1(2)(b) FADP, the government bodies in the United States empowered to investigate complaints and to obtain relief against unfair or deceptive practices as well as redress for individuals, irrespective of their country of residence or nationality, in case of non-compliance with the Principles implemented in accordance with the FAQs are:

1. The Federal Trade Commission, and

2. The U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Federal Trade Commission acts on the basis of its authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission under Section 5 is excluded with respect to banks, saving and loans and credit unions; telecommunications and interstate transportation common carriers, air carriers and packers and stockyard operators. Although the insurance industry is not specifically included in the list of exceptions in Section 5, the McCarran-Ferguson Act (15 U.S.C. § 1011 et seq.) leaves the regulation of the business of insurance to the individual states. However, the provisions of the FTC Act apply to the insurance industry to the extent that such business is not regulated by State law. The FTC retains residual authority over unfair or deceptive practices by insurance companies when they are not engaged in the business of insurance.

The U.S. Department of Transportation acts on the basis of its authority under Title 49 United States Code Section 41712. The U.S. Department of Transportation institutes cases based on its own investigations as well as formal and informal complaints received from individuals, travel agents, airlines, U.S. and foreign government agencies.