FTC Settlement Statement

FTC

Fabruary 1, 2016
25
   In The Loop Extended Articles

The Professional Skaters Association is required by theĀ  FTC Settlement Statement, to publish the FTC Settlement Statement and press release on or as close as possible to the first and second anniversary dates of the first publication in the “Professional Skater Magazine” and “In The Loop” publications, or any successor publication.

Dear Member:

As you may know, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) conducted an investigation concerning the provision in PSA’s Code of Ethics that stated:

No member shall in any case solicit pupils of another member, directly or indirectly, or through third parties.

The FTC alleges that this provision in the Code of Ethics violates the Federal Trade Commission Act because it unnecessarily restricts members of PSA from competing for pupils, thereby depriving pupils of the benefits of competition among skating coaches. The FTC also alleges that PSA guidelines stating it is unethical for members to give free lessons is an illegal restriction on price competition.

To end the investigation expeditiously and to avoid disruption to its core functions, PSA voluntarily agreed, without admitting any violation of the law, to the entry of a Consent Agreement and a Decision and Order by the Federal Trade Commission. As a result, PSA will eliminate the above provision from its Code of Ethics and other organizational documents and implement an antitrust compliance program.

In general, the FTC has prohibited PSA from maintaining bylaws, code of ethics, operational policies, or membership requirements that restrict members from soliciting students and engaging in price competition. The Decision and Order also prohibits PSA from (1) encouraging other organizations to adopt policies or practices that would violate the Decision and Order if PSA adopted such policies and (2) enforcing or investigating violations of the code of ethics of other organizations that would violate the Decision and Order if enforced or investigated by PSA on its behalf.

PSA is also prohibited from adopting policies or practices that restrict or attempts to restrict non-members from talking to, convincing, or requiring students or parents of such students to switch from one coach to another.

The Decision and Order does not prohibit PSA from adopting and enforcing Codes of Ethics or similar documents that govern the conduct of members with respect to representations that PSA reasonably believes would be false or deceptive within the meaning of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

A copy of the Decision and Order is enclosed. It is also available on the Federal Trade Commission website at www.FTC.gov, and through the PSA web site.

Respectfully submitted,
The Professional Skaters Association

FTC Press Release