WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced May 26 that, following a public comment period, it has approved a final order and consent agreement with the American Guild of Organists that had been first announced in March.

The guild agreed to eliminate rules restricting its members from competing for opportunities to perform, an act that resolves the agency’s complaint it violated the FTC law. According to allegations, the guild unlawfully had a code of ethics that mandates consumers use an “incumbent musician” for their event. If a consumer wished to have a musician other than the “incumbent musician,” he or she had to pay both musicians.

Under the consent order settling the case, the guild must stop restraining its members from soliciting work as musicians, and stop issuing compensation schedules, guidance, or model contract provisions for members to use to determine their compensation.

The FTC commended the guild for promptly complying with the proposed consent order and stopping the allegedly illegal practices.

The FTC voted 2-0 to approve the final order. Karen A Mills of the Bureau of Competition is the staff contact for the case.

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