The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a unique dual mission to protect consumers and promote competition in broad sectors of the economy. On the consumer protection side of its mission, the FTC stops unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. The FTC's work in this area includes conducting investigations and bringing law enforcement actions against companies and individual's that violate the law. The FTC also develops rules to ensure a vibrant marketplace, and educates consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities. On the competition side of the FTC's mission, the FTC enforces the antitrust laws to help ensure that U.S. markets are open and free. In carrying out this aspect of its mission, the FTC monitors business practices and reviews potential mergers/acquisitions, bringing law enforcement challenges against anticompetitive business practices and mergers that could harm consumers by resulting in higher prices, lower quality of service, fewer choices, or hinder industry innovation. The FTC's overriding goal is to ensure that the market works according to consumer preferences, not illegal practices.