The Bureau of Economics helps the FTC evaluate the economic impact of its actions. To do so, the Bureau provides economic analysis and support to antitrust and consumer protection investigations and rulemakings. It also analyzes the impact of government regulation on competition and consumers and provides Congress, the Executive Branch and the public with economic analysis of market processes as they relate to antitrust, consumer protection, and regulation.
This Bureau provides guidance and support to the agency’s antitrust and consumer protection enforcement activities. In the antitrust area, the Bureau participates in the investigation of alleged anticompetitive acts or practices and provides advice on the economic merits of alternative antitrust actions. If an enforcement action is initiated, the Bureau integrates economic analysis into the proceeding (sometimes providing the expert witness at trial) and works with the Bureau of Competition to devise appropriate remedies. In the consumer protection area, this bureau provides economic support and analysis of potential commission actions in both cases and rulemakings handled by the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Bureau economists also provide analysis of appropriate penalty levels to deter activity that harms consumers.
The Bureau of Economics also conducts economic analysis of various markets and industries. This work focuses on the economic effects of regulation and on issues important to antitrust and consumer protection policy. Many of these analyses are published as staff reports.