Enforcement Actions Federal Trade Commission

News & Analysis as of

The FTC Social Media Consent Order Against SmartClick

The FTC continues its efforts to combat deceptive social media advertising. In June 2016, the FTC brought an enforcement action against SmartClick Media LLC and its owner. The FTC alleged that SmartClick engaged in the...more

Learning from Venmo’s Compliance Issues: How to Avoid Inadequate Privacy Disclosures

PayPal, the company responsible for the popular mobile payments app, Venmo, recently agreed to voluntarily bolster its privacy and security disclosures—and pay a $175,000 penalty—in response to an enforcement action brought...more

Court Allows An Exhausted FTC To Serve Summons On The California Secretary Of State

The Federal Trade Commission is not pleased with Discountmetalbrokers, Inc. In fact, the FTC is so unhappy with the company that it filed a complaint alleging that the company held itself out as a legitimate seller of gold...more

FTC Takes Action Against Personal Care Product Companies for Making False All-Natural Claims

The Federal Trade Commission has approved four final consent orders against companies that allegedly misrepresented their personal care products as "All-Natural" or "100% Natural," despite the fact that they contain man-made...more

Warner Bros. Settles FTC Charges It Failed to Adequately Disclose Payments to Online Influencers

More and more brands are paying online “influencers” to engage with, positively review and market their products. However, a recent federal action reiterates the importance of clearly disclosing the sponsored nature of such...more

Activist Investor to Pay Record Fine for Violating HSR Reporting Requirements

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced this week that an activist investment manager has agreed to pay a record $11 million to settle allegations that it violated the requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust...more

FTC Workshop Examines Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Rooftop Solar Industry

On June 21, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the rooftop solar industry—also known as solar “distributed generation.” Beyond exploring a wide...more

FTC Raises Maximum Civil Penalty to $40,000; HSR Act and Other Continuing Violations May Incur Civil Penalties of Over $14 million...

Key Points: The FTC is raising the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed for certain violations from $16,000 to $40,000. For HSR Act violations, where penalties may be imposed for each day the person is in...more

Alert: FTC Settles First Enforcement Action Against Mobile Advertising Company

On June 22, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") announced that it would settle its first-ever enforcement action against a mobile advertising company, InMobi. InMobi agreed, subject to court approval of the settlement, to...more

Latest FTC Privacy Action Looks Carefully at Geolocation Promises

A mobile device’s geolocation can be passed to apps and ad networks through various application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by Android or iOS, but there are other ways to determine a consumer’s location using...more

FTC Settles Charges with Misleading Websites: Another Native Advertising Enforcement Action

Following on the heels of the FTC’s March 2016 settlement with Lord & Taylor concerning a deceptive native advertising campaign, the FTC just announced that it has reached a settlement with SmartClick Media LLC over its phony...more

FTC Delays Ruling in LabMD Appeal

The Federal Trade Commission has decided to put off until late July a decision about whether to overturn a ruling by the agency’s chief administrative law judge in the closely watched data security action against LabMD, the...more

CFPB Brings First Data Security Enforcement Action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently brought its first data security enforcement action, adding itself to the growing list of federal regulators tackling data security issues. The CFPB’s enforcement action...more

Will Privacy Enforcement Actions Impact “Reasonable” Security Measures Needed to Protect Trade Secrets?

In widely-publicized, contested privacy cases last year, the FTC advocated in favor of a high baseline for information security measures.  Among the security practices attacked by the FTC as critical mistakes by companies...more

Smarter, Stronger, Faster: FTC Cracking Down on Deceptive Health-Related Advertising

In recent years, brands have become bolder in their representations to consumers. Our product is the safest. Our product is totally natural. Our product will make you smarter. However, the FTC is cracking down on instances of...more

The CFPB and Data Security Enforcement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced its intention to act as a data security regulator by releasing its first unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) enforcement action for allegedly...more

Cybersecurity News & Notes – June 2016 #2: A brief digest of cybersecurity news you can use...

In Case You Missed It: The SEC fined Morgan Stanley $1 million for a 2014 data breach. While the FTC had declined to pursue an enforcement action, blaming the breach on technical issues rather than any actions or omissions...more

13 Questions to Ask Yourself About Marketing Claims to Help Avoid an FTC Enforcement Action

In the U.S., the promotion of nearly all consumer products and services is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In addition to the FTC regulations on advertising, in Title 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations,...more

FTC provides 2015 enforcement report to CFPB

The Federal Trade Commission has provided its annual report to the CFPB covering the FTC’s enforcement activities in 2015 related to compliance with Regulation Z (Truth in Lending), Regulation M (Consumer Leasing), and...more

Understanding How the FTC Tracks Privacy Complaints

The FTC collects complaints about companies that allegedly violate the data privacy, data security, advertising, and marketing laws. The result is a massive database of consumer complaints known as “Consumer Sentinel” that is...more

Spring Update: Insights Regarding The Antitrust Division’s Recent Activity

The Antitrust Division recently issued its 2016 annual spring update. Taking advantage of modern technology, Bill Baer—now the Acting Associate Attorney General serving in the DOJ’s third-highest ranking...more

Advertising Law - May 2016 #4

NAD Vacuums Up Preference Claims - In a challenge brought by a competing vacuum manufacturer, the National Advertising Division recommended that SharkNinja discontinue a claim that "Americans now choose Shark 2-to-1 over...more

Brainstorm: FTC Continues Enforcement Trend Against Cognitive Function Claims

Continuing its trend of scrutinizing claims touting improved cognitive function, the Federal Trade Commission recently announced a settlement with LearningRx Franchise Corp. (“LFC”), the developer and franchisor of a chain of...more

Advertising Law - May 2016 #3

Fake Subscription Notices, Real FTC Lawsuit - Fake subscription notices are the subject of a new lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission in an Oregon federal court. The defendants, a web of dozens of...more

House bill introduced to amend CFPB UDAAP authority

The Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFPB authority to regulate “unfair, deceptive, or abusive” acts or practices.  Republican Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer has introduced the “Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices Uniformity Act,”...more

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