Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation Communications & Media

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FTC Announces Settlement with Retail Tracking Company

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a proposed settlement with a retail tracking company to resolve charges that the company’s privacy policy misled consumers about their ability to opt out of the company’s...more

E-Retailers Beware: DOJ Files First Criminal Prosecution for Online Price Fixing

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced its first criminal antitrust prosecution in e-commerce. David Topkins was charged on April 6, 2015, with price fixing in violation of Section 1 of...more

FTC Releases 2014 Annual Highlights Report

On April 15, the FTC released its 2014 Annual Highlights Report (Report), summarizing the FTC’s work during the prior year to protect consumers and promote competition in industries such as mobile technology, healthcare, and...more

Federal Regulators Expand Authority Over Data Security Issues: Recent Actions by FCC and FTC Underscore the Importance of...

Highly regulated industries such as banking and healthcare have been at the forefront with robust data security regulations for a number of years. Regulators are now focusing on other industries as data breach incidents...more

EU Tells Google to Try Harder

It’s official: on Wednesday, in a formal Statement of Objections, the European Union’s antitrust chief formally accused Google of abusing its dominant position in the web search arena. The European Commission is focused on...more

FTC Settles with Technology Company for Allegedly Misleading Consumers about Refunds

On April 7, the FTC announced a proposed settlement of an administrative complaint alleging that a web hosting provider violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the press release, the company offered web...more

Impact of FTC's Broadened Scope Creeping In On Your E-Business

For retailers who have eBusiness lines, the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) new regulations will affect the way you do business. The amendments in 16 C.F.R. §435 went into effect December 8, 2014. Has your business made...more

Department of Justice's Antitrust Division Brings First E-Commerce Prosecution

Marking a foray into e-commerce, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced its first antitrust prosecution for price fixing in online marketplaces. On April 6, 2015, the DOJ announced that it has...more

UPDATE: FTC Plans Review of YouTube Kids App

As we predicted in our post late last month, Google’s YouTube Kids app has attracted more than just the “curious little minds” Google was hoping for. Yesterday, a group of privacy and children’s rights advocates (including...more

FTC Creates New Office To Investigate Consumer Technologies

On March 23, the FTC announced – via blog post – the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI), a newly formed research office within its Bureau of Consumer Protection....more

Department of Justice Antitrust Division Charges Former E-Commerce Executive with Price-Fixing in First Ever Online Marketplace...

On April 6, 2015, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced that David Topkins, a former executive of an e-commerce seller of wall décor, had pled guilty to a one-count felony charge for conspiring to fix the...more

Telemarketing Tips: What We Can Learn From Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Excursion With The FTC

The FTC’s “Do Not Call” and “robocall” rules do not apply to political survey calls. So, if Hillary Clinton sought to “voice blast” a survey about international issues, she could do so without violating the Telemarketing...more

Advertising Law - April 2015

Pink Cadillac Not Included: Mary Kay Sues Over “Fraudulent Couponing Scheme” - According to a new federal court complaint filed by Mary Kay, Inc., online deal site RetailMeNot has tricked consumers with a “fraudulent...more

FTC Reminds Schools When They Can Consent to Certain Online Activities By Students Under COPPA

Last week the Federal Trade Commission announced on its blog that it has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the interplay between schools and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Although...more

No Purchase Necessary: Six Tips for Making Sure Your Online Prize Promotion is not an Illegal Lottery

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent $9.5 million judgment against sweepstakes operator Crystal Ewing is a stark reminder that prize promotions remain fertile ground for regulatory scrutiny both on the state and federal...more

Advertising Law - March 2015 #5

Paying for Consumer Reviews Gets Company FTC Action - Accused of failing to disclose that it gave cash discounts to customers to post online reviews, AmeriFreight and owner Marius Lehmann agreed to a settlement with...more

Cross-Device Tracking: The New World

Facebook does it. Google does it. It’s everywhere in the mobile ad ecosystem. And your smartphone does it often than you know, according to a study released on Monday by Carnegie Mellon....more

FTC Creates New Office Focused on Privacy and Data Security

Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced the formation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation within its Bureau of Consumer Protection. The office will succeed the Mobile Technology...more

Canadian Competition Bureau Steps Up Enforcement Efforts, Including First CASL-Related Proceeding

Although Canada’s Competition Bureau (Bureau) has been focused the past year on enhancing its advocacy and competition compliance roles, the Bureau has also demonstrated its continued willingness to use formal investigative...more

The New Frontier in Interest Based Advertising: FTC Shifts Focus to Cross-Device Tracking

As consumers increasingly connect to the Internet using multiple devices—such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, TVs and wearable devices—advertising technology companies have rapidly developed capabilities to reach the...more

Health Update - March 2015

Supporting Informed Decision Making in the Health Insurance Marketplace: A Progress Report - Editor’s note: As Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation moves forward and the marketplace continues to evolve, there is a...more

While FDA’s Proposed e-Cigarette Rule is Pending, FTC Mulls Enforcement Action

Ahead of finalizing FDA’s tobacco products “deeming” rule, the FTC considers taking enforcement action against e-cigarette firms for violative advertising, marketing, and sales practices....more

Privacy Tuesday – March 2015: COPPA Refresh

On Friday, the FTC published updates to the COPPA FAQs, the Commission’s compliance guide for businesses and consumers, to address the applicability of COPPA and the Amended COPPA Rule to educational institutions and...more

FTC Focuses on Emerging Technologies Amid Congressional Efforts to Expand Data Security Enforcement

Monday the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) announced the creation of the Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI), a new initiative focused on consumer protection in emerging...more

Why You Need a Privacy Policy – Part 2: Avoiding Three Common Fumbles

In Part 1, we covered some basic privacy policy concepts. Here in Part 2, we address three problems associated with privacy policies in practice. 1. You Don’t Have One, But You Really Should - There is no...more

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