Section 5

News & Analysis as of

Federal Trade Commission Shows Willingness to Credit Responsive Data Security Efforts in Exercising Enforcement Authority

In a change of pace, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently decided not to pursue an enforcement action against Verizon Communication, Inc. (“Verizon”) following an investigation into whether Verizon violated Section 5...more

FTC Continues Regulatory Scrutiny of the Debt Buying Industry

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently obtained temporary injunctions against two passive debt buyers, which are companies that buy and sell debt portfolios and exclusively use third-party debt collectors. In complaints...more

Broker-Dealers Ignoring Red Flags Lead to SEC Releases and Enforcement Action

In October 2014, the SEC’s Division of Trading & Markets issued FAQs to remind broker-dealers of their obligation to conduct a reasonable inquiry when selling securities in an unregistered transaction in reliance on Section...more

Rising Number of Class Actions Targeting Outlet Stores Based on Claims of False and Deceptive Advertising

1. Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Retailers That Operate Outlet Stores Based on Their Alleged Pricing Claims - Plaintiffs’ class attorneys have a new target in sight and it is outlet shopping. In the...more

What Does It Take to Make the SEC Happy? SEC Criticism of Broker-Dealers’ Due Diligence for Sales of Unregistered Securities...

To ensure that broker-dealers (BDs) do not inadvertently facilitate an unlawful distribution of securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission has long required BDs to conduct a “reasonable inquiry” into the circumstances...more

SEC Proposes New Rule on Communications Involving Security-Based Swaps

On September 8, the SEC proposed a new rule that certain communications involving security-based swaps that may be purchased only by eligible contract participants will not be deemed for purposes of Section 5 of the...more

Cybersecurity Litigation Monthly Newsletter

As we discussed in July, Tiversa, a “cyber-intelligence” company, notified the FTC in 2009 that a file containing the personal information of about 9,300 LabMD patients was available on a peer-to-peer file sharing network....more

Two UPC Resellers Settle FTC Invitation to Collude Investigation

On July 28, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission accepted, subject to final approval, settlements with InstantUPCCodes.com (“Instant”) and Nationwide Barcode (“Nationwide”), two of the leading barcode resellers, and their...more

NY Attorney General, FTC Bring Major Action against Debt Collection Operation

The New York Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a joint debt collection enforcement action that had been filed last month in federal court in Buffalo, New York, against several corporations...more

Wyndham Gets Life Preserver in Data Breach Case

New Jersey U.S. District Judge Esther Salas agreed to allow Wyndham Hotels and Resorts LLC to immediately appeal to the Third Circuit a ruling affirming the FTC’s authority to bring data security cases. ...more

Beyond Truth, and Toward Repose: Price Increases Following “Merger to Monopoly” Do Not Rekindle Statute of Limitations

Z Technologies Corp. v. Lubrizol Corp., No. 2:12-cv-12206 (6th Cir., May 23, 2014). In February, 2007, Lubrizol Corporation made a “merger to monopoly” acquisition of the assets of a competitor. The acquisition...more

Policyholders are Exposed to Cyber-Risk from Their Third Party Contracts

The use of third party technology service providers has become widespread and commonplace in all industries. Technology services like “cloud” data storage providers and software as a service (SaaS) allow companies of all...more

FTC Uses Its "Unfair Acts" Power to Go After PHI Security Breach

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is moving forward with an administrative action against a small medical laboratory that suffered two data security breaches, resulting in its patients’ protected health information falling...more

Advertising Law - May 2014

Here Today, Still Here Tomorrow: FTC Settles With Snapchat - Now you see it … and now it’s still there. Mobile messaging app Snapchat went with a catchier slogan, promising consumers that pictures and videos...more

FTC Sends Warning About Using Social Media With Promotions

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently investigated whether Cole Haan’s “Wandering Sole” social media contest violated Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits deceptive practices. In doing so, the FTC issued a...more

Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success: When Does Ambient Scent Marketing Become a Deceptive Trade Practice?

Scent marketing is as old as a realtor baking cookies in a house up for sale and as new as Oscar Mayer’s “bacon” alarm clock. Harnessing the primal power of smell represents a final frontier of subliminal advertising....more

Snap Judgment: FTC Alleges Snapchat Did Not Keep Its Privacy and Security Promises, But Suggests Broad New Duty in the Process

Snapchat’s recent settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) generally provides a comprehensive but not groundbreaking roadmap to the FTC’s privacy and data security expectations in the mobile environment under...more

FTC Ordered to Testify Regarding Data Security Standards in LabMD Dispute

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has suffered a significant setback in its ongoing dispute with LabMD, a now-closed medical laboratory that the FTC charged with failing to adopt reasonable data security practices that...more

Pre-IPO Selling Procedures Need to Be Adequately Supervised, According to FINRA

Broker-dealers selling interests in IPOs need to have adequate supervisory systems to ensure that registered representatives do not make actual sales before the securities are registered, according to a settlement of a formal...more

FTC Secures Seven Figure Judgment Against Single Co-Defendant in Scareware Case

After the FTC secured a $163MM judgment against Kristy Ross in the US District Court of Maryland, the 4th Circuit affirmed, and so ends the FTC’s six-year “scareware” enforcement action. From beginning to end, this odyssey...more

FTC Commissioners Disagree on Section 5 Authority

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act confers broad enforcement powers on the Commission to prohibit “unfair methods of competition.” In her February 13, 2014 keynote address to the Competition Law & Economics...more

Republicans Press FTC to Establish a Clear Standard for Section 5

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday, October 23, eight GOP lawmakers from both the House and the Senate called on the FTC to publish clear guidance on Section 5 of the FTC Act....more

“Something More” Than “But For” Required In The Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit recently reversed a ruling by the U.S. District Court of Nevada granting summary judgment in favor of the SEC in a case alleging violations of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 in connection with the...more

Commissioner Wright Calls The FTC’s Section 5 Record ‘Uninspiring If Not Bleak’ – Has The Time Finally Arrived For A Meaningful...

For years Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act has been used to address a wide range of conduct deemed to be unfair methods of competition....more

FTC Continues To Target Debt Collectors and Debt Relief Companies

The Federal Trade Commission’s continuing focus on the debt collection and debt relief industries was clearly demonstrated by several recently announced lawsuits and settlements....more

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