The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a United States government agency that is charged with protecting consumers and promoting competition in the marketplace. The FTC is an independent agency, which means it is not part of any other government agency or department. It was established in 1914 and is composed of five commissioners who are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The FTC is responsible for enforcing a variety of federal laws that relate to consumer protection, antitrust, and other areas of the economy. Some of the specific duties of the FTC include investigating and pursuing legal action against companies that engage in deceptive or fraudulent business practices, monitoring mergers and acquisitions to ensure that they do not harm competition, and providing consumers with information and tools to help them make informed decisions about the products and services they purchase.