Communications & Media Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Alleging a Negative: The Challenges of Bringing a Refusal-to-Deal Claim

What does to take to state a claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act for refusal to deal? Last week’s decision in Viamedia, Inc. v. Comcast Corp. and Comcast Spotlight, LP, a case out of the Northern District of Illinois,...more

FTC Settles Deceptive Advertising Lawsuit against Operators of Online “High School”

Two weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced multi-million dollar settlements with the operators of two online “high schools.” According to a complaint filed by the FTC last year, Capitol Network Distance...more

Federal Trade Commission Delivers Cross-Device Tracking Report Recommendations

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) office recently published the Cross-Device Tracking: An FTC Staff Report. It provides an interesting look behind the curtains of the current operations in cross-device data tracking...more

FTC and 10 States Settle with Caribbean Cruise Lines for Robocall Accusations

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and ten states settled charges against the Florida-based cruise line, Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc. (CCL), for an illegal telemarking campaign that inundated consumers with billions...more

Advertising Law - February 2017 #4

Not-So-Smart TV: Vizio Settles Over Data Collection - For installing software on smart TVs and collecting viewing data on 11 million consumers without their knowledge or consent, Vizio, Inc. will pay the Federal Trade...more

Unfair Commercial Practices: The European Court of Justice Specifies Criteria for Comparative Advertising

On 8 February 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down a judgment on a reference for a preliminary ruling stating that comparative advertising can be misleading if consumers are not provided with information on...more

FTC Suing Router Company Without Underlying Data Loss

The new Administration may stand for regulatory rollback in many areas, but consumer privacy is (so far) not one. Trump's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is pursuing a router manufacturer whose equipment hasn't caused any...more

Advertising Law - February 2017 #3

NAD Inquiry Results in Modified Celebrity Endorsements - As a result of an inquiry by the National Advertising Division, celebrity endorsements of FitTea were revised to better disclose material connections. The...more

Q&A with Joshua Gans, author of “The Disruption Dilemma”

Your recent book “The Disruption Dilemma” examines how disruption can destroy even the best managed corporations. The case studies in your book – the mobile phone industry disrupted by Apple, Blockbuster’s store-based video...more

FTC Report Reinforces the Rules for Cross-Device Tracking

Well over a year after holding a workshop addressing privacy issues associated with cross-device tracking, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff have issued a report. The report sets the stage by describing how cross-device...more

VIZIO Pays $2.2 Million for Viewing Histories on 11 Million Smart Televisions

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release on February 6, 2017 that it and the State of New Jersey have settled with Vizio for $2.2 million for claims that Vizio installed software on its smart TVs to collect...more

FTC Requires that iSpring’s “Built in USA” Claims Hold Water

On February 1, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and iSpring Water Systems, LLC (“iSpring”) reached a settlement regarding its false, misleading, and unsupported claims that its water filtration systems and parts are...more

Advertising - Get it right

February has barely hit and we are already starting to see some action from the Commerce Commission in the Fair Trading space for 2017. Earlier this week the Commerce Commission filed charges against Bunnings (NZ)...more

Smart Television Manufacturer Settles by Paying $ 2.2 Million to the FTC and the State of New Jersey

The FTC and the State of New Jersey recently announced a settlement with Vizio, Inc., in the amount of $2.2 million for tracking consumer behavior using its smart television devices. The complaint alleged that Vizio...more

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

Smart TV Manufacturer “Smarting” after $2.2 Million Privacy Enforcement

This week, the FTC announced a settlement with VIZIO, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of “smart” TVs. The settlement, also with the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, arises from claims by regulators...more

Big Brother and your TV – Vizio settles lawsuit with FTC and NJ Attorney General

Vizio sold more than 11 million smart televisions since 2010. These televisions contained tracking devices which captured consumers’ IP addresses and television watching practices without alerting consumers or getting their...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

Not a Passing Grade: FTC Settles with Company Over Alleged False Advertising for High School Diploma Program

On February 3, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a new settlement against Stratford Career Institute alleging that Stratford’s advertising for its high school diploma program (claiming that it provided the...more

FTC / DAA Extend Data Privacy Focus to Cross-Device Tracking

Enforcement of the Digital Advertising Alliance “Application of the Principles of Transparency and Control to Data Used Across Devices” (DAA Cross-Device Principles) officially began on February 1, just a week after the FTC...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

When a Regulation is Like “a ‘Mongrel’ – With No Offense to Dogs”

It’s not every day that a federal court describes a regulation as “a ‘mongrel’ – with no offense to dogs.” But last week, that’s how a federal court characterized a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation on the...more

Cross-Device Tracking and the Trouble with Talkative Tech

Did you know that your devices are following you and talking amongst themselves? Creepy, right? From ordering products from your smartphone that you added to your shopping cart on your laptop’s browser to streaming a movie...more

No Harm, But Foul? FTC Sues Internet of Things Maker D-Link for Security “Vulnerabilities” Despite No Allegations of Breach

Shortly after the new year, the Federal Trade Commission filed suit in the Northern District of California against D-Link Corporation, a Taiwan-based maker of wireless routers, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, and software...more

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