Communications & Media Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Mobile App Developer Settles with FTC and New Jersey AG Over Virtual Currency Mining

On June 29, a mobile app developer entered into an agreement with the FTC and the New Jersey AG to settle allegations that the developer engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by marketing its rewards app, called “Prized,”...more

FTC Resolves Claims Against Auto Dealers Based on Alleged Deceptive Advertising

On June 29, the FTC filed two administrative complaints and issued proposed orders against two Las Vegas auto dealers to resolve allegations that they engaged in misleading advertising practices that misrepresented the...more

Advertising Law - July 2015

Try, Try Again: Lawmakers Reintroduce Do Not Track Kids Act - A group of federal lawmakers reintroduced the Do Not Track Kids Act, a bill to amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), with some changes...more

FTC, Florida AG File Action to Stop Alleged Telemarketing Debt Relief Scam Targeting Seniors

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Florida Attorney General (AG) have jointly filed a complaint in a Florida federal court against several companies and their individual owners alleging that the defendants engaged in...more

“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”* — Doctors, Vets, and Lawyers in the Antitrust Crosshairs

Supreme Court Decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission Prompts Legal Challenges to State Professional Boards - Earlier this month a Texas federal district court judge granted a...more

Truth in Advertising - An Overview of Recent Contraventions of the Misleading and Deceptive Conduct Provisions of the Australian...

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) continues to focus on misleading and deceptive advertising and communication strategies adopted by businesses selling products and services as an enforcement priority....more

FTC Shuts Down a Risky Risk-Free Offer

This morning, the FTC announced that it had stopped a group of 15 companies and 7 individuals from using deceptive “risk-free trial” offers to sell skincare products online. At the Commission’s request, a federal court issued...more

[Webinar] Leveraging Social Media for a Best Practice Compliance Program - July 14, 1:00 pm EST

Join this webinar, featuring compliance expert Tom Fox, to learn how embracing social media in a smart way can help companies engage employees and enforce any best practice compliance program. You will learn: - Why...more

Facial Recognition Technology: Social Media and Beyond, an Emerging Concern

This week, a major self-regulatory initiative intended to address privacy concerns associated with facial recognition technology hit a significant stumbling block. Nine consumer advocacy groups withdrew from the National...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Advertising

“We have the best mobile app on the market!” “Subscribe now and win an Apple watch!” “Download our software and we guarantee an increase in your business within 30 days!” That all sounds quite wonderful, actually. Where do I...more

EU Competition Commissioner Unveils Investigation into Amazon, Continuing Probe into the Tech Giants

On Thursday, the European Commissioner for Competition announced a formal investigation into whether Amazon, the largest distributor of e-books in Europe, has abused its dominance in the market for e-books. The investigation...more

Seven Key Topics to Track During ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires

The 53rd international meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) commences in earnest on Monday, June 22, 2015, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with some sessions beginning as early as Saturday,...more

Collusion Course: The Limits of Hot Documents

Discovery in antitrust cases often involves a search for smoking-gun documents. Those documents can consist of emails proving that competitors conspired to raise prices, removing the difficulties faced by prosecutors or civil...more

FTC Clarifies Native and Online Ad Obligations

The FTC, in recent staff statements, has sought to clarify advertisers’ and publishers’ obligations regarding native advertising and social media promotions, particularly regarding when and how to clarify to readers that a...more

Free* to Play Means Only If You Pay

As online gaming companies compete for business, they are offering customers increasingly large incentives to play on their websites, often in the form of deposit bonuses. These deposit bonuses allow players to play with the...more

FTC Announces First Action Involving Crowdfunding

Last week, the FTC announced its first legal action involving crowdfunding. For those of you who don’t know, crowdfunding is the practice of raising money for a project by seeking contributions from a large number of people,...more

Crowdfunding Isn’t Charity

“How do I get backers for my project?” - You see this question asked frequently on social media sites. The projects are sometimes serious, but have often advanced little more than a dream. The person seeking funds may...more

Alert: Second Circuit Rules that "Product Hopping" May Constitute Unlawful Monopolization; Pharmaceutical Companies are Likely...

Recent antitrust challenges to pharmaceutical companies' efforts to transition patients from drugs nearing the end of their patent life to next-generation drugs have increased the risk of pursuing such "product hopping"...more

FTC Workshop on the Sharing Economy: Insights and Promise

Following Commissioner Ohlhausen’s opening presentation, Stanford Professor Liran Einav introduced the first morning panel. It was moderated by Nathan Wilson, Economist for the FTC’s Bureau of Economics. Panelists beyond...more

Smart ad disclosures in the social media age

Recent actions by the Federal Trade Commission highlight the need for companies to review the sufficiency of their advertising disclosures. Companies should take particular care when launching an ad campaign using social...more

Crowdfunding Project Creator Settles FTC Charges of Deception

In the FTC's first case involving crowdfunding, the agency took action against a project creator who was ostensibly raising money from consumers to produce a board game, but instead used most of the funds on himself....more

Federal Court Enjoins Texas Medical Board from Enforcing More Stringent Telemedicine Rules

On April 10, 2015, the Texas Medical Board (the “Board”) voted to adopt stricter regulations governing the practice of telemedicine, which were scheduled to go into effect June 3, 2015 (the “Revised Regulations”). The Board...more

New Insights from FTC on Its Endorsement Guides to Reflect Continued Focus on Disclosures

After the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials (the “Guides”) in 2009, it followed up with a set of frequently asked questions entitled “What People Are Asking” (the “FAQs”) to address...more

FTC Sharing Economy Workshop: Ohlhausen Sets the Stage for Innovation

As we, and countless others, have previously written, peer-to-peer sharing services are transforming the world economy. As Tom Goodwin at Havas Media pointed out in March, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles,...more

Getting the Deal Through - Advertising and Marketing 2015: Canada

Legislation and Regulation - What are the principal statutes regulating advertising generally? The principal federal statute regulating advertising in Canada is the Competition Act, which is a law of general...more

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