Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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FTC sued by blogger to release data security guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was sued this week by Philip Reitinger, a fellow blogger and former Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He is now President of VisionSpear LLC, an information...more

Wet Wipes Manufacturer Must Back Up Its Flushing Claims (And Not Consumers’ Plumbing)

On May 18, 2015, the FTC announced a settlement with Nice-Pak Products, Inc., concerning claims that its moist wipes are “flushable,” “break apart after being flushed,” and are “safe” for sewer and septic systems. Nice-Pak...more

Choppy Seas for Companies Falsely Claiming Compliance with U.S.-EU Safe Harbor

Ensuring and maintaining compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor principles should be a priority for U.S. entities receiving personal data relating to EU residents, in no small part to avoid the FTC leveling the charge and...more

Nomi FTC Settlement Highlights Risks of Publicizing Company Privacy Policies

A closely divided Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or the “Commission”) has signaled support for the agency’s recent focus on mobile device privacy. On April 23, 2015, the five-member Commission voted 3-2 to accept a proposed...more

Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM...more

FTC, State Regulators, and Apple Weigh in on RadioShack Customer Data Sale

RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware bankruptcy court in February, seeking a court-supervised sale of $1.2 billion in assets. Included in the sale is a database of customer information from about 1,700...more

Class Actions over Background Checks Continue

As previously reported in an earlier blog post, retailers are under attack in a wave of class actions alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The allegations are essentially the same in all of these suits: that...more

There’s No Such Thing As a Free Sample

Social media allows users to effortlessly communicate globally with nothing more than a few keystrokes. Advertisers have harnessed the power of social media bloggers and incorporated it as a key component of their...more

Status of Pay-for-Delay Cases Nearly Two Years After Actavis – “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Nearly two years ago the Supreme Court issued its opinion in FTC v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), holding that a reverse payment made by a brand manufacturer to a generic manufacturer to resolve pending patent litigation...more

May Antitrust Bulletin

On April 27, 2015, Applied Materials Inc. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. abandoned their merger plans after facing pushback from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The merger, which has been pending since September 2013, would have...more

Crowley Executive Acquittal in Price Fixing Trial Highlights Importance of Evaluating Legitimate Defenses and Avoiding Costly Plea...

A federal jury’s recent acquittal of a shipping company executive charged with price fixing highlights the challenges and uncertainties the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) faces when defendants force...more

FTC Lobbies Michigan Legislature to Repeal Ban On Direct-to-Consumer Sale of Motor Vehicles by Auto Manufacturers

On May 11, the FTC released a statement regarding the agency staff’s May 7 letter to Michigan Senator Booher, which concerns pending SB 268 – an act to regulate the sale and servicing of automobiles. The proposed legislation...more

Self-Regulatory Ad Programs Get Updated with Enforcement of Mobile Guidance to Begin Sept. 1

The digital advertising industry’s decision to start enforcing its self-regulatory principles will mean that mobile platform advertisers and other entities will face additional consumer notification, data use, and data...more

Dealer Advertising: No More Excuses

There are no more excuses. Dealers have seen all the ongoing and very recent announcements from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) imposing millions of dollars in fines, cease and desist orders, and promises by dealers not...more

Fit to Be Tied: Appeals Court Redefines Tying Arrangements Based on Bundled Pricing

Corporate antitrust compliance programs often spotlight the dangers of tying arrangements. Those risks arise when a seller with a dominant position in one product coerces its customers by offering that must-have product only...more

FTC Commissioner Says That The FTC’s Data Privacy And Security Enforcement Authority Applies To The “Internet of Things”

In a keynote address at the European Data Protection Days conference on May 4, 2015, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Commissioner Julie Brill said that the FTC has enforcement authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act...more

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t: Why The FTC’s Lack of Privacy Regulations May Lead Some Businesses To Abandon Best Data...

I chose to write my privacy law paper on the FTC and its seemingly limitless enforcement authority. Specifically, I argued that the FTC’s lack of clear regulations makes it difficult, if not impossible, for companies to be...more

California Supreme Court Scrutinizes Reverse Payment ANDA Settlements

In In Re Cipro Cases I & II, the California Supreme Court laid out a four-part rule of reason analysis for evaluating ANDA settlements that involve a reverse payment to the generic challenger (also referred to as “pay for...more

Federal Trade Commission Obtains a Near Record-Breaking Disgorgement in a Monopolization Case

On April 20, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that Cardinal Health, Inc. (“Cardinal”), agreed to pay $26.8 million to resolve allegations that it violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by monopolizing the...more

New Law Favors Uber and Lyft

Addressing the lack of consistent rules governing app-based ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, the Tennessee legislature has passed a bill which establishes a uniform law for the companies’ Tennessee operations....more

FTC Ramps Up Scrutiny of Retail Location Analytics

To improve customer experience and understand customers’ movements and interactions on their premises, retailers, hotels and other brick-and-mortar businesses increasingly use signals from mobile devices to observe their...more

National Mortgage Servicer Pays CFPB and FTC $63 Million to Settle Claims Over Alleged Servicing Violations

On April 21, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a joint enforcement action and joint order with a national mortgage servicer. ...more

“Ring my friend, I said you call Doctor Robert, day or night he'll be there”*

The first lawsuit, in what may be a wave of antitrust litigation challenging professional board regulations in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade...more

Beware – Price Fixing by Algorithms

So, you’ve designed a great looking poster. Posters are sold all over Twitter and other social media sites, and now you’ve been lucky enough to land a space in Amazon Marketplace. You’re not the only one selling posters, of...more

Apple’s Streaming Music Service Under Investigation

It has been a busy several months for antitrust regulators and the tech giants whose alleged conduct has recently drawn their ire. Just a few weeks ago, Google formally became the subject of a European investigation into its...more

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