Monopolies Emerging in Pharmaceutical and Telecom Industries — While FTC Goes After Music Teachers and Ice Skating Instructors

 

Music Teachers National Association, Inc., In the Matter of

LAST UPDATED: APRIL 4, 2014
In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc., a corporation
FTC MATTER/FILE NUMBER:

131 0118

ENFORCEMENT TYPE:

Part 2 Consents

CASE SUMMARY

The FTC’s complaint against the Music Teachers National Association, Inc. (MTNA), which represents over 20,000 music teachers nationwide, alleges that the association and its members restrained competition in violation of the FTC Act through a code of ethics provision that restricted members from soliciting clients from rival music teachers.  The proposed order requires MTNA to stop restricting or declaring it unethical for its members to solicit teaching work from other music teachers.  The order also requires MTNA to maintain an antitrust compliance program. In addition, MTNA is an umbrella organization for more than 500 state and local music teaching association affiliates throughout the country. Some of these affiliates have codes of ethics that restrain their members from charging fees that are lower than the average in the community, offering free lessons or scholarships, or advertising free scholarships or tuition. The proposed settlement requires MTNA to, among other things, stop affiliating with any association that MTNA knows is restricting solicitation, advertising, or price-related competition by its members.

 

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Professional Skaters Association, Inc., In the Matter of

LAST UPDATED: MARCH 3, 2015
In the Matter of Professional Skaters Association, Inc.
FTC MATTER/FILE NUMBER:

131 0168

ENFORCEMENT TYPE:

Part 2 Consents

CASE SUMMARY

An association representing skating teachers agreed to eliminate provisions in its bylaws that the FTC alleged limit competition among the association’s members. In its complaint, the FTC charged that the Professional Skaters Association, through its code of ethics, broadly bans members from soliciting other members’ students, and thereby deprives consumers of the benefits of competition among the 6,400 ice skating teachers and coaches who are members. According to the complaint, the PSA instructed its members that this code provision prohibited coaches from many types of direct and indirect communications with skaters and parents, and actively enforced the ban through a variety of penalties, including suspension, even over the objections of skating students and their parents who wanted to switch coaches. The consent order settling the FTC’s charges requires the Professional Skaters Association to stop restraining its members from soliciting work and competing on the basis of price. It also requires the group to change its code of ethics, publicize its settlement with the FTC, and implement an antitrust compliance program.

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