Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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Can Antitrust Prevent Excessive Drug Price Increases?

The antitrust agencies are often asked to intervene in markets where pricing appears to be excessive to help protect consumers and stabilize markets. In the drug arena, healthcare providers, consumers and politicians have...more

International Comity and Deference: A Foreign Government with Final Say When Interpreting its Own Laws

On Tuesday, the Second Circuit in In Re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation vacated a $147 million award against two Chinese companies for engaging in anti-competitive behavior. At issue was how a federal court should respond...more

Health Update - September 2016

The Election’s Impact on Healthcare: Preparing for Potential Scenarios - Editor’s Note: Election 2016 will have a major impact on federal and state healthcare policy. To be prepared for all the possibilities, it’s...more

Beyond “Clear and Conspicuous”: FTC Workshop Highlights Issues Related to Testing of Consumer Disclosures

On advertisements, websites, and legal documents, disclosures are everywhere. But how do consumers notice, understand, and use disclosures in their decision-making? And how can businesses and advertisers effectively design...more

FTC staff paper on lead generation likely to inform CFPB

Almost a year ago, on October 30, 2015, the FTC conducted a workshop on lead generation entitled to “Follow the Lead.” We published a three-part series on the workshop highlighting the key takeaways. On September 15, 2016,...more

OCC, CFPB Charge Bank With Illegal Credit Card Practices

Two regulators have forced one bank to pay $35 million for allegedly improper credit card practices—including fines owed to both the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau...more

Buying and selling online: the EU's new findings on e-commerce

On 15 September 2016, after more than a year of information-gathering and analysis, the European Commission published a voluminous report (291 pages) of preliminary findings from its large-scale e-commerce inquiry (the...more

Third Circuit says sunk discovery costs not a proper factor in class certification analysis

It is not every day that antitrust plaintiff classes fail to win certification due to lack of numerosity under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(1). Yet this week, absence of numerosity was the reason a Third Circuit...more

LabMD Seeks To Stay FTC Decision Related To Evidence Of Consumer Harm Pending Appeal

LabMD—a medical testing lab that, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) alleged, exposed consumer personal information through a peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file-sharing network—is now seeking a stay pending its appeal of the FTC’s...more

Third Circuit Decertifies Class on Numerosity Grounds, Listing Relevant Factors for the First Time

The Modafinil decision bodes well for defendants and represents another step toward increased scrutiny of the class action device in the Third Circuit. On September 13, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for...more

European Commission Challenges Public Price Announcements by Shipping Liner Companies

On 7 July 2016, the European Commission adopted a decision accepting commitments by 14 shipping liner companies to change their practices concerning announcements of intended price increases for containerised shipping...more

Don’t Ignore Ransomware Vulnerabilities; You Could Be Violating FTC Act

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission convened a ransomware workshop to discuss the rising epidemic of attacks against U.S. businesses and individuals. In a ransomware attack, a malicious actor tricks a user into...more

State Enforcement of COPPA, Federal Online Advertising Law

On September 13, 2016, the New York Attorney General announced settlements with four major US toy and media companies regarding their use of online tracking of children who use their websites. Viacom, Inc. (Nickelodeon),...more

House of Representatives Passes Consumer Review Fairness Act and Better Online Ticket Sales Acts

The House of Representatives passed two bills last week relevant to the advertising industry: the Consumer Review Fairness Act and the Better On-line Ticket Sales Act (“BOTS Act”). The Consumer Review Fairness Act is...more

FTC sets new standard for mobile app location tracking – indirectly

If you have wondered how users' physical locations can be tracked when they use mobile devices, a new white paper explains the process. It's actually an FTC complaint, and thus a white paper only indirectly. But...more

Mixed Blessings – Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v MasterCard Incorporated and others [2016] CAT 11

This case is very important in that it is one of the first judgments where damages have been awarded for breach of competition rules in UK. It relates to MasterCard’s alleged anticompetitive card fees (credit and debit...more

FTC Round-Up: NIST Framework Compliance Is Not Enough and Looming Ransomware Enforcement Activity

On August 31st and September 7th, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provided guidance regarding cybersecurity standards, which companies should consider when assessing their current data security posture....more

FTC Makes Clear that NIST Cyber Framework is Not a Cure-All

Last week, the FTC published a blog post titled The NIST Cybersecurity Framework and the FTC, in which the agency issued a nuanced answer to an oft-asked question: “If I comply with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, am I...more

Update: Fundamental Change to U.S. Warranty Law: Consumer Warranties Can Soon be Posted Online

Recent changes to the federal statute governing warranties on consumer products will make it easier and more cost-effective for consumer product manufacturers and suppliers to satisfy the federally-mandated warranty...more

Ninth Circuit Removes FTC From The Beat: Agency Lacks Authority To Police Common Carriers Engaged In Non-Common Carrier Activities

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) asserted broad regulatory authority over the Internet and broadband Internet service providers when it reclassified Internet access service as a “common carrier” service under...more

Draft Legislation Streamlines and Redefines Australia’s Competition Laws

On Monday, Australia’s Federal Government released new draft legislation after a panel conducted a review of Australia’s competition laws last year. The proposed revisions consolidate power and discretion with the Australian...more

Second Circuit Blazes New Trail in Set-Top Box Cases: Cable Service and Boxes Are Not Separate Products

Since 2008, cable customers have been suing cable operators across the country claiming operators violate the antitrust laws by forcing customers to lease set-top boxes from the operator to access “premium” cable services. ...more

Ninth Circuit Strips FTC of ‘Activities-Based’ Jurisdiction over Common Carriers

The FTC has no jurisdiction over common carriers even when they engage in non-common carrier activity, according to a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opinion. In FTC v. AT&T Mobility, No. 15-16585 (9th...more

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit’s Rejection of FTC Authority Over “Throttling” Could Have Far Reaching...

On August 29th, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.” The panel found that...more

FTC Announces Settlement with Law Firms Over Alleged Debt Relief Scheme

On September 1, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it entered into a stipulated order for permanent injunction against a group of regional law firms over allegations the firms violated the Federal Trade...more

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