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DOT/OST RIN: 2105-AE72 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: Defining Unfair or Deceptive Practices 

This rulemaking would define the phrase "unfair or deceptive practice” found in the Department's aviation consumer protection statute. The Department's statute is modeled after a similar statute granting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to regulate unfair or deceptive practices. Using the FTC's policy statements as a guide, the Department has found a practice to be unfair if it causes or is likely to cause substantial harm, the harm cannot reasonably be avoided, and the harm is not outweighed by any countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition. Likewise, the Department has found a practice to be deceptive if it misleads or is likely to mislead a consumer acting reasonably under the circumstances with respect to a material issue (one that is likely to affect the consumer's decision with regard to a product or service). This rulemaking would codify the Department's existing interpretation of "unfair or deceptive practice,” and seek comment on any whether changes are needed. The rulemaking would also require the Department to articulate in future enforcement orders the basis for concluding that a practice is unfair or deceptive where no existing regulation governs the practice in question, state the basis for its conclusion that a practice is unfair or deceptive when it issues discretionary aviation consumer protection regulations, and apply formal hearing procedures for discretionary aviation consumer protection rulemakings. In addition, this rulemaking would codify the longstanding practice of the Department to offer airlines and ticket agents the opportunity to be heard and present relevant evidence before any determination is made on how to resolve a matter involving a potential unfair or deceptive practice.

Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 49 U.S.C. 41712   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  02/28/2020  85 FR 11881   
NPRM Comment Period End  04/28/2020 
Final Rule  11/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Blane A. Workie
Assistant General Counsel
Department of Transportation
Office of the Secretary
Room 4116/C-70, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-9342
Fax:202 366-7153