In the wake of the Federal Trade Commission’s proposal of new, sweeping regulations on car dealership price advertising and F&I product disclosure, a client of Hudson Cook partner Jean Noonan asked her, “Wasn’t all of this already illegal?”

Yes and no, said Noonan and other compliance experts who explored the rationale and timing of the draft regulations in interviews with Automotive News.

The FTC already can take action if dealerships violate the federal prohibition on unfair or deceptive acts or practices, according to Shannon Robertson, executive director of the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals. But this entails the agency going to court and proving the behavior was indeed unfair or deceptive, he said.

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FTC Issues Crackdown On Already Illegal Dealership Practices Rather Than Ignoring Them

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