A regulatory agency (regulatory body, regulator) or independent agency (independent regulatory agency) is a government authority that is responsible for exercising autonomous dominion over some area of human activity in a licensing and regulating capacity.
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These are customarily set up to strengthen safety and standards, and/or to protect consumers in markets where there is a lack of effective competition. Examples of regulatory agencies that enforce standards include the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the United Kingdom; and, in the case of economic regulation, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets and the Telecom Regulatory Authority in India.