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During fiscal 2008/09, the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) completed 489 investigations into business conducted by local firms.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investments and Commerce, Hon. Michael Stern, told the House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 8) that this represented a resolution rate of 98.8 per cent between April, 2008 and March, 2009, compared to 38.1 per cent during 2007/08.
“During the last financial year, the FTC, in carrying out its role, received 164 new cases. One hundred and six of these cases, or 64.6 per cent, were classified as ‘misleading advertising’ and 20 were classified as ‘offences against competition’,” he explained, as he made his contribution to the 2009/10 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
The Minister also revealed that the majority of the complaints involved major providers of telecommunication services. But, he did not elaborate on the details of the complaints made against these companies, or which ones topped the list. There were also a number of complaints about “marrying of goods,” he also confirmed.
He said that institutions such as the FTC were important, as they operate as watchdogs, “and work behind the scene to keep businesses in check, safeguarding consumers’ welfare.”
The FTC was established in 1993 to administer the Fair Competition Act (FCA), enacted in March 1993. The Act provides for the maintenance and encouragement of competition in the conduct of trade, business and in the supply of services in Jamaica.
The Commission carries out investigations into the conduct of businesses, and seeks to determine whether an enterprise is engaging in business that is contrary to the Act.