Civil Procedure Antitrust & Trade Regulation Communications & Media

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Advertising Law - February 2017 #2

Uber’s Earnings, Financing Claims Crash Into FTC - For exaggerating claims about earnings potential and automobile financing, Uber has agreed to pay $20 million in a deal with the Federal Trade Commission. According...more

VIZIO to Pay $2.2 Million to Settle Consumer Tracking Charges; FTC Treats Television Viewing History as “Sensitive Information”...

On February 6, 2017, the FTC and New Jersey Attorney General and Department of Consumer Affairs filed a Complaint and Stipulated Order for Permanent Injunction and Monetary Judgment against television manufacturer VIZIO,...more

Lack Of Prejudice Results In Limited Sanction Against Defendant

In one of the first cases interpreting newly amended Fed. R. Civ. P. 37, F.T.C. v. DirecTV, Inc., 15-cv-01129-HSG, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176873 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2016), Magistrate Judge Maria Elena James of the Northern...more

Advertising Law - February 2017

SPECIAL FOCUS: Current State of the FTC: Three Top Priorities - On February 2, Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Maureen Ohlhausen, addressed the ABA 2017 Consumer Protection Conference in Atlanta and...more

Spectrum Facing Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Over Wireless Internet Speed Claim Practices

The Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York (“NYAG”) has filed a consumer fraud complaint against Charter Communications, Inc. and Spectrum Management Holding Company, LLC (“Spectrum”) for deceptive practices...more

Court Finds Apple is a Distributor of iPhone Apps, Allows Antitrust Suit

In a significant Illinois Brick decision, the Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion concluding that consumers who purchase apps from Apple’s “app store” directly purchase those apps from Apple, which acts as a distributor....more

Advertising Law - January 2017

SPECIAL FOCUS: Memories Light the Corners of Regulators' Minds - The Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General for the State of New York (NY AG) recently filed a joint lawsuit against Wisconsin based Quincy...more

Retailers Face False Advertising Cases on Discounts From Original Prices, Rewards Points

Retailers that advertise sale prices in comparison with regular prices in California should ensure that the products were actually offered for sale at those regular prices within the preceding three months, in order to avoid...more

When Can False Advertising Lead to Sherman Act Liability? The Fifth Circuit Weighs In

In a December 2, 2016 decision, Retractable Technologies, Inc. v. Becton Dickinson & Company, the Fifth Circuit opined on when false advertising can lead to liability under the Sherman Act. The Fifth Circuit’s answer: Very...more

AT&T to Issue $88 Million in Consumer Refunds for Mobile Cramming

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has announced an historic consumer refund initiative to provide relief to millions of AT&T Mobility, LLC (“AT&T”) customers that were the subject of mobile cramming. The settlement arises...more

Court Issues $29 Million Judgment Against Pure Green Coffee Weight-Loss Pills in FTC Deceptive Advertising Suit

On November 2, 2016, a Florida Federal District Court issued a $29 million judgment against the marketer of Pure Green Coffee extract weight-loss pills in a deceptive advertising suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission....more

Advertising Law - November 2016 #4

CARU Emphasizes Accurate Performance, Use Presentations for Children - Two recent Children's Advertising Review Unit decisions emphasize the importance of providing accurate performance and use presentations for products...more

Advertising Law - November 2016 #2

Advertiser’s Claims for Sex Supplement Too Vague for Lawsuit - An advertiser’s claims were too vague to be actionable, a California federal court held when dismissing a false advertising class action. Jonathan...more

Federal Court Revives Suspended Judgment Against Text Message Marketing Company Principal        

In a decision that should grab the attention of marketers who operate through all media, a federal court has lifted a suspended judgment awarded to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) against the owner of a text message...more

Advertising Law - October 2016 #4

New in False Advertising Suits: "Natural" Claims, Healthy Beverages - Demonstrating that the focus on health-related claims has not abated, two new class actions were filed challenging the "natural" labels for deli meat...more

Stuck in the Middle with the FTC

Legal actions regarding “Made in the USA” claims, whether prosecuted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or through various state unfair trade practices acts, often settle early in the proceedings. For example, in 2014,...more

St. Louis Taxi Commission Not Immune From Uber’s Antitrust Suit

As we’ve written, Uber, the popular app-based car service, has been on the antitrust defensive, facing allegations that its algorithm for calculating prices restricts price competition. In Wallen v. St. Louis Metropolitan...more

FTC Targets Tech Support Companies for Deceptive Pop-Up Marketing

On October 12, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that a temporary restraining order had been issued by a court of law against five related tech support companies and their respective principals (the...more

Advertising Law - October 2016

Suit Over Block Voting on Reviews Moves Forward - A Lanham Act suit brought by a competitor over a company's efforts to minimize negative consumer reviews will move forward, a Utah federal court judge has...more

Recent FTC Consent Decree with InMobi for Unlawful Geolocational Tracking Provides Insight for App Developers

Recently in United States v. InMobi Pte Ltd., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set a new standard for geolocational tracking. The FTC told app developers and app marketers one simple rule: honor consumers location privacy...more

Advertising Law - September 2016

NAD Recommends Goop Lifestyle Blog Clean up Its Claims - Gwyneth Paltrow's agreement to discontinue her lifestyle blog Goop for a line of dietary supplements following an inquiry by the National Advertising Division...more

Second Circuit Blazes New Trail in Set-Top Box Cases: Cable Service and Boxes Are Not Separate Products

Since 2008, cable customers have been suing cable operators across the country claiming operators violate the antitrust laws by forcing customers to lease set-top boxes from the operator to access “premium” cable services. ...more

Ninth Circuit Strips FTC of ‘Activities-Based’ Jurisdiction over Common Carriers

The FTC has no jurisdiction over common carriers even when they engage in non-common carrier activity, according to a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opinion. In FTC v. AT&T Mobility, No. 15-16585 (9th...more

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit’s Rejection of FTC Authority Over “Throttling” Could Have Far Reaching...

On August 29th, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.” The panel found that...more

Ninth Circuit Decision in AT&T “Throttling” Case May Reset Boundaries Between FTC and FCC Jurisdiction

On Monday, August 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may dramatically alter the boundaries between the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority...more

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