As was widely predicted based on oral arguments in AMG Capital Management LLC v. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission to seek equitable monetary relief.
Lest companies breathe a sigh of relief, they should know that this decision will not lead to the end of sizeable monetary awards in consumer protection cases.
All states have a functional equivalent of the FTC Act in their unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws, and all of these laws expressly allow for consumer restitution and other equitable relief.
State attorneys general have deployed these laws over the past several years to secure significant monetary awards in several cases. From 2000 to 2019, there were approximately 644 multistate actions that obtained a total of $105.9 billion in monetary relief, and only about a third of those actions included a federal partner.
During that same time period, states brought over 7,600 actions individually and obtained $37 billion in monetary relief.
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