Communications & Media Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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News & Analysis as of

FTC Finalizes First Privacy Settlement Against a Retail Tracking Firm

In a first-of-its-kind enforcement action, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday voted along party lines to settle deception allegations against Nomi Technologies (Nomi), a company whose technology allows retailers...more

Regulatory Settlement Proves Major Obstacle for Certification of Minor Class of Google In-App Purchases

Google sells apps on its Play Store that allow users to make in-app purchases, typically the buying of “currency” for use in app-based games. This putative class action alleged that the games were aimed at minor children and...more

FTC Releases 2014 Annual Highlights Report

On April 15, the FTC released its 2014 Annual Highlights Report (Report), summarizing the FTC’s work during the prior year to protect consumers and promote competition in industries such as mobile technology, healthcare, and...more

Federal Regulators Expand Authority Over Data Security Issues: Recent Actions by FCC and FTC Underscore the Importance of...

Highly regulated industries such as banking and healthcare have been at the forefront with robust data security regulations for a number of years. Regulators are now focusing on other industries as data breach incidents...more

Right to Criticize Gets a Bigger Public Platform on the Internet with the Introduction of .sucks Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, more commonly known as ICANN, has recently approved more than a thousand new general top-level domains (gTLDs), which are anticipated to launch over the next few years....more

Legal and Regulatory Landscape for Mobile Health Technologies

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies continue to expand in application and implementation. Over the past decade, the breadth of these technologies has grown from the creation of healthcare-directed websites (think WebMD) to...more

FCC Clarifies Lifeline Subscriber Usage Rules

On March 31, 2015, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released an Order clarifying subscriber usage rules of Lifeline-supported service established in the 2012 Lifeline Reform Order in an attempt to curb...more

The IoT scrutinized by Telecom regulator

€ 1.55 bn of revenues for the Internet of Things (IoT) in Italy shows a growing market, but the report from the Communications Authority stresses the need for regulatory changes to boost the sector....more

Data Privacy and Security Insider Update - April 2015

Target Corp. announced yesterday that it has settled the claims of MasterCard International Inc. (MasterCard) against it to reimburse MasterCard and its card issuers for the losses it sustained in issuing new credit and debit...more

UPDATE: .SUCKS CEO SPEAKS

Following the publication of the article titled .SUCKS: A Questionable Future?, posted on April 13, 2015, the author received an unsolicited email from John Berard, CEO of Vox Populi Registry, Ltd. (“Vox”), the registry...more

EU Tells Google to Try Harder

It’s official: on Wednesday, in a formal Statement of Objections, the European Union’s antitrust chief formally accused Google of abusing its dominant position in the web search arena. The European Commission is focused on...more

FTC Settles with Technology Company for Allegedly Misleading Consumers about Refunds

On April 7, the FTC announced a proposed settlement of an administrative complaint alleging that a web hosting provider violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the press release, the company offered web...more

Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Text Messaging Price-Fixing Claims

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless LLC, T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint Corp., in a text messaging price-fixing...more

Impact of FTC's Broadened Scope Creeping In On Your E-Business

For retailers who have eBusiness lines, the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) new regulations will affect the way you do business. The amendments in 16 C.F.R. §435 went into effect December 8, 2014. Has your business made...more

Has Your Website’s EU Safe Harbor Expired?

FTC proposes twenty-year compliance program for two companies that have settled charges that they misrepresented that they are currently compliant with the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework. Does your company rely on the US-EU Safe...more

A Questionable Future for .SUCKS Domain Names?

In response to a veritable deluge of concerns from brand owners over the .SUCKS domain name registry’s pricing structure, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) sent a letter to the U.S. Federal...more

Department of Justice's Antitrust Division Brings First E-Commerce Prosecution

Marking a foray into e-commerce, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced its first antitrust prosecution for price fixing in online marketplaces. On April 6, 2015, the DOJ announced that it has...more

Internet of Things: Another Over the Top War?

The Italian Communications Authority (Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni – “Agcom”) published its survey on M2M. Agcom confirmed that connected cars are dominating the scene, with almost half of the mobile M2M...more

UPDATE: FTC Plans Review of YouTube Kids App

As we predicted in our post late last month, Google’s YouTube Kids app has attracted more than just the “curious little minds” Google was hoping for. Yesterday, a group of privacy and children’s rights advocates (including...more

Harper Review: Implications for networks businesses

The Final Harper Competition Policy Review Report (Harper Review) was released on 31 March 2015. We set out below the key potential implications for networks businesses....more

FTC Creates New Office To Investigate Consumer Technologies

On March 23, the FTC announced – via blog post – the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI), a newly formed research office within its Bureau of Consumer Protection....more

Department of Justice Antitrust Division Charges Former E-Commerce Executive with Price-Fixing in First Ever Online Marketplace...

On April 6, 2015, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced that David Topkins, a former executive of an e-commerce seller of wall décor, had pled guilty to a one-count felony charge for conspiring to fix the...more

FTC updates COPPA FAQs related to educational context

On March 24, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to better address the intersection of COPPA regulations and schools....more

Telemarketing Tips: What We Can Learn From Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Excursion With The FTC

The FTC’s “Do Not Call” and “robocall” rules do not apply to political survey calls. So, if Hillary Clinton sought to “voice blast” a survey about international issues, she could do so without violating the Telemarketing...more

Advertising Law - April 2015

Pink Cadillac Not Included: Mary Kay Sues Over “Fraudulent Couponing Scheme” - According to a new federal court complaint filed by Mary Kay, Inc., online deal site RetailMeNot has tricked consumers with a “fraudulent...more

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