Background: the Federal Trade Commission
got a bug up ah, decided that some boilerplate, non-binding, non-enforceable language in the Music Teachers National Association (a small nonprofit out of Ohio) represented an attempt to jack up prices in the high-stakes, ruthlessly competitive world of piano lessons (average lesson, according to the WSJ: $30). Not having any friends in court – and no, I don’t think that I’ll strike that out, given that it’s brutally truthful – the MTNA simply surrendered to the tender mercies of the FTC. The result?
This October, MTNA signed a consent decree—its contents as ludicrous as the investigation. The association did not have to admit or deny guilt. It must, however, read a statement out loud at every future national MTNA event warning members against talking about prices or recruitment. It must send this statement to all 22,000 members and post it on its website. It must contact all of its 500-plus affiliates and get them to sign a compliance statement. (more…)