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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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

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

Ohlhausen’s Appointment as Acting Chair of FTC Signals Potential Change in Antitrust Approach

President Donald Trump last week designated Maureen K. Ohlhausen as acting chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Ohlhausen is a vocal critic of government involvement in the market, suggesting the FTC under her...more

FTC Settles “Made in USA” False Advertising Claims

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced settlement of its false advertising claims against iSpring Water Systems, LLC (“iSpring”). According to the FTC’s complaint, iSpring, a company that sells water...more

FTC Cautions Companies on Cross-Device Tracking Disclosures

On January 23, 2017, the FTC released a new report outlining its recommendations for companies using cross-device tracking. The report focused on the FTC’s continued commitment to consumer choice, transparency, and...more

FTC Cries Foul On Breathometer Accuracy Claims

The FTC recently announced a settlement with Breathometer, Inc., a company that marketed a smartphone accessory that it claimed could detect blood alcohol levels. Users could simply plug the accessory into the headphone...more

Ninth Circuit Refines Antitrust Standing Doctrine Under Illinois Brick

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently addressed again when plaintiffs have standing to pursue federal antitrust claims under the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431...more

Got Customer Reviews? What to Do Now That Consumer Review Fairness Act Is Law

A new federal law pertaining to customer reviews means companies may soon need to revise their standard-form contracts or website conditions of use with customers who purchase goods or services. The Consumer Review Fairness...more

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