In a recent blog post, the FTC explained the role of closing letters issued by the staff of its Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The FTC indicates that it views the closing letters as a supplement to its enforcement activity.  It states that the letters inform a company or individual that the FTC is closing its investigation into their conduct.  However, the letters are not binding on the FTC.

The FTC observes that there are numerous practical reasons why its staff may close an investigation even when there is concern that a company has violated the law.  For that reason, the letters make it clear that receipt of a letter should not be construed as a determination that there was no legal violation and that the FTC reserves the right to take further action.

The FTC also observes that although the closing letters serve a narrow purpose, they often include “a pointer that can help other companies with their own compliance efforts.”  The letters are available on the Staff Closing Letters page of the FTC website.