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Communications & Media Business Torts

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

€110 million fine for Facebook by the European Commission for providing misleading information during WhatsApp merger review

by Dechert LLP on

The European Commission (“Commission”) announced on May 18, 2017, that it was fining Facebook €110 million for providing misleading or incorrect information during the review of the social network’s acquisition of WhatsApp in...more

The Price Is Not Right: Class Action Risks of Comparative Price Advertising

“Was that retail ‘bargain’ you received really a bargain?” That is the question being asked by a recent spate of lawsuits filed against prominent retailers. Most of these actions have been brought as private party class...more

CFPB doubles down on its attacks against online tribal lenders

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

In a new lawsuit filed in an Illinois federal district court, the CFPB alleges that four online tribal lenders engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act...more

Foreign Importer Hanging by a Thread, but International Trade Commission Cuts It Off

The International Trade Commission recently issued a general exclusion order barring the importation of bed sheets with falsely advertised thread counts as a remedy for Section 337 violations. The decision in In re Certain...more

Court Dismisses “Phantom Markdown” Suit against Saks

On March 22, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California dismissed a putative class action against Saks Inc. alleging that Saks advertised “phantom markdowns” of Saks-branded products. The Plaintiff...more

It Doesn't Take Magic Words To Revoke An Offer

by Brooks Pierce on

The lawyers in Baker v. Bowden, 2017 NCBC 30, decided this week by Judge Robinson, were negotiating a settlement agreement by email. The Plaintiff thought that it had a deal. ...more

Mobile Health App Developers Under Fire for Misleading Claims and Irresponsible Privacy Practices

by Dechert LLP on

Mobile health apps are becoming more and more popular as a tool for consumers in maintaining healthy lifestyles. However, there is a growing concern that the health-related benefits are being over-stated by mobile health app...more

Michigan District Court Won’t Hear Lanham Act Claim Against Tinnitus Treatment Certifier

Last week, we covered a summary judgment decision holding that posts on the “Science-Based Medicine” blog were not “commercial speech” under the Lanham Act, and therefore the defendant in that case was not liable for false...more

Judge Finds Standing Based on Spokeo in TCPA Class Action

Last week, on March 22, 2017, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke, a Florida federal judge, determined that Ray Mohamed had standing in his proposed class action against Off Lease Only Inc. (Off Lease) for alleged violations...more

No Scrubs Permitted: Eleventh Circuit Affirms Blog Post Is Not Advertising Actionable Under Lanham Act

In an interesting recent opinion, the Eleventh Circuit held that a doctor’s blog post criticizing another doctor and his clinical practice could not form the basis of a Lanham Act claim because the blog posts were not...more

More Broken Privacy Promises from Upromise: Key Takeaways From Upromise’s Latest Settlement with the FTC

“Don’t make promises that you don’t intend to keep” is an admonishment received by every child and delivered by every parent. This pithy maxim is equally applicable to consent orders entered into with regulatory authorities....more

Dechert survey: Developments in securities fraud class actions against U.S. life sciences companies

by Dechert LLP on

Life sciences companies continued to be popular targets of securities fraud class action lawsuits filed in 2016, and prudent life sciences companies should take heed of the results of this year’s decisions. In 2016,...more

Influencer Marketing: The FTC's Evolving Policies on Paid Promotion Disclosure

Rapid Growth of Influencer Marketing - With more consumers cutting the cord to their TVs and paying for premium subscriptions or ad blockers to avoid advertising, social media has become an important medium through which...more

France: No requirement for a domain name to be distinctive in unfair competition claims

by Hogan Lovells on

In a decision of 6 December 2016, the French Supreme Court of the Judiciary (“Cour de Cassation”) provided a very useful clarification in relation to unfair competition claim (“concurrence déloyale”, a tortious action) based...more

Don’t Friend My Friends: Nonsolicitation Agreements Should Account for Social Media Strategies

As social media becomes an important part of many companies’ sales and branding strategies, issues relating to companies’ ability to protect their investments in such strategies are emerging. Indeed, this blog has previously...more

Don’t Game Your Players with False Advertising

Advertising for new games can present some troublesome legal issues, if due care is not taken. A recently concluded matter in the UK highlights an example of the potential issues. Hello Games was investigated by the...more

CGL Coverage for False Advertising and Intellectual Property Claims: Sometimes It’s There, but You Need to Know Where to Look for...

A recent case in the Northern District of California offers two cautionary tales to policyholders. First, when buying insurance, companies should understand their risks and ensure that the policies they’re buying match those...more

Gordon v. Verizon: New York Parts Company with Delaware

On February 2, 2017, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, issued a decision in Gordon v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 653084/13, 2017 WL 442871 (1st Dep’t 2017), approving the settlement of litigation over...more

 OTA & Travel Distribution Update - Jan. 13th, 2017

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

OTA & Travel Distribution Update - Jan. 13th, 2017 Chinese tourists spend more via online travel agencies: report Chinese tourists spent more money via online travel agencies (OTA) thanks to rapid growth of e-commerce and...more

NC Business Court: What Is Intrusion Into Seclusion?

by Brooks Pierce on

I had never heard before of a "privacy tort" claim for "intrusion into seclusion." But it exists in North Carolina per Judge Gale's Opinion in Dishner v. Goneau, 2017 NCBC 7, decided in the NC Business Court this week....more

Advertising Litigation Report: Vol. 2, No. 1

Lanham Act False Advertising - Lanham Act Liability for Native Advertising Violations - Casper Sleep, Inc. v. Mitcham, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, No. 16 Civ. 3224 (JSR), 2016 WL 4574388 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 1, 2016)...more

Deceptive Marketing — Is Coca-Cola taking a page book from the tobacco industry?

Coca-Cola has been called out in California for deceptively advertising is sugar-saturated sodas so it can sell more of them. A 39-page lawsuit filed in San Francisco makes 13 claims against the iconic beverage brand...more

Puff … Puff … Sue? Distinguishing an Aggressive Sales Pitch from an Actionable Misrepresentation

by Butler Snow LLP on

Everyone’s heard it before: “This is the best phone on the market!” “There’s no faster internet anywhere!” “Best looking car you’ll see on the road!” “X Co. has the greatest brains behind it!”...more

How Big Retailers Can Avoid Newest Wave of Deceptive Price Advertising Lawsuits

by Perkins Coie on

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer last week announced the filing of four lawsuits against some of the largest retailers in the United States, accusing them of misleading customers by advertising a “sales price” alongside...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

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