Functions and Powers

The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) is the administrative body responsible for implementing the Fair Competition Act (FCA). The functions of the FTC include the following:

  • To carry out, on its own initiative or at the request of the Minister or any other person, investigations in relation to the conduct of business in Jamaica in connection with matters falling within the provisions of the FCA;
  • To advise the Minister on matters relating to the operation of the FCA;
  • To make available to businesses and consumers, general information with respect to their rights and obligations under the FCA;
  • To undertake studies and publicize reports and information regarding matters affecting the interests of consumers; and
  • To co-operate with and assist any association in developing and promoting the observance of standards of conduct for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the FCA.

The FTC has the power to carry out investigations in relation to the conduct of business in Jamaica to determine if any enterprise is engaging in practices that are in contravention of the Act. Such investigations may be self-initiated by the FTC or be carried out following a complaint. All investigations are carried out by the staff of the FTC.

The FTC has the power to obtain any information that it considers necessary for the purposes of the investigation. Where necessary, an authorized officer of the FTC may, with a warrant, enter and search any premises. The officer may remove any documents from the premises. Copies of documents removed may be made and the original must be returned within seven days.

In addition, the Commissioners have the power to summon and examine witnesses; to call for and examine documents; and to administer oaths. Where they find that an arrangement has contravened Sections 17, 20 or 33 of the Act, they may prohibit the arrangement. For prohibitions under Sections 20 and 33, they may also direct the enterprise concerned to take steps that are necessary to overcome any anti-competitive effects resulting from the arrangement.

The FTC can also take to Court any business or individual who has been found guilty of anti-competitive practice and has failed to take corrective measures, after being instructed by the Commissioners.