National Petroleum Refiners Association v. Federal Trade Commission

482 F.2d 672 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 951 (1974)


The issue of whether the FTC (D) could promulgate substantive rules of business conduct that would give greater specificity and clarity to a broad standard of illegality with respect to what was meant by unfair methods of competition in commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce. Once promulgated the rules would be used by the FTC in adjudicatory proceedings aimed at producing cease and desist orders against violations of the statutory standard. The relevant statutes specified that the Commission may from time to time, make rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of its mandate. Under these facts, the Commission ruled that the failure to post octane rating numbers on gasoline pumps at service stations was an unfair method of competition and an unfair or deceptive act or practice. The National Petroleum Refiners Association (P) opposed this finding contending that the statute allowing for the creation of rules under Section 6 should not be read to encompass substantive rulemaking in implementation of Section 5 adjudications.