The Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 decision that the FTC does not have the power to demand fines or other forms of monetary restitution from companies that engage in deceptive practices under a certain section of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The court ruled that Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act gives the FTC the power to create injunctive relief, not monetary relief. The FTC had fined AMG Capital Management more than a billion dollars in restitution for deceptive practices around payday loans, and AMG sued the FTC in objection to the fine.
"Taken as a whole, the provision focuses upon relief that is prospective, not retrospective," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote. The FTC still has the power to issue monetary fines under other provisions of the act, according to Breyer's opinion.