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52 Federal Communications Law Journal 453 (2000)


In April 1998, the FTC released a consumer alert pertaining to the increasing problem of online auction fraud. As the number of online auction participants increased, online auction fraud was becoming more prevalent. The FTC requested comments regarding methods that would be appropriate for curbing the increase in consumer deception. Many in the online auction industry proposed voluntary self-regulation. This Note exposes the inadequacy of industry self-regulation by analogizing online auction abuse with the misuse and near downfall of the 900-number industry. This Note proposes that only a regime of strict industry guidelines that the FTC initiates will halt online industry abuse.