The death of the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act – but might other new legislation emerge?

In recent years, major media organizations have been lobbying Congress to enact legislation, the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” requiring search engine providers to engage in a form of collective bargaining about the tax they would pay to media publishers for the privilege of providing links to their news articles, backed up by mandatory interest […]

New rule on data collection on small business lending

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finalized a rule required by Congress to increase transparency in small business lending, promote economic development, and combat unlawful discrimination. Lenders will collect and report information about the small business credit applications they receive, including geographic and demographic data, lending decisions, and the price of credit. A summary, with […]

Preparing for the 20th Anniversary of the Streisand Effect: Cooley v. Afroman

It was almost twenty years ago that Barbra Streisand filed a lawsuit that attempted to block access to a photograph of her oceanfront estate, bringing unwanted attention to the photo and leading to her being enshrined by Techdirt’s Mike Masnick in tech/legal terminology as the progenitor of “the Streisand Effect.” Now we have Cooley v. […]

FTC action leads to industry ban for operators of “extended vehicle warranty” scam

As a result of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit, the operators of a telemarketing scam that called hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide to pitch them expensive “extended automobile warranties” will face a lifetime ban from the extended automobile warranty industry and from all outbound telemarketing. The FTC’s press release is here.

Fifth Circuit rejects non-delegation challenge to FCC Universal Service Fund

On Friday, a unanimous panel of the Fifth Circuit rejected a challenge brought by the anti-regulation advocacy organization Consumers’ Research to Congress’s creation of the Universal Service Fund. The Fund imposes charges on telecom providers and then uses the money to fund access to telecommunications services for low-income consumers, schools, libraries, and rural health-care providers, […]

Pro Publica reports that health insurer Cigna doctors denied 300,000 claims spending an average of 1.2 seconds per claim

Here. Excerpt: [A doctor’s] claim was just one of roughly 60,000 that [medical director Dr.] Dopke denied in a single month last year, according to internal Cigna records reviewed by ProPublica and The Capitol Forum. The rejection of van Terheyden’s claim was typical for Cigna, one of the country’s largest insurers. The company has built […]

More on the FTC’s proposed rule on “click to cancel” subscriptions and memberships

Allison posted a couple days ago on the FTC’s proposed rule on “click to cancel” subscriptions and memberships. Relatedly, Michele Singletary at the Washington Post has this useful piece on the topic. Here’s a little excerpt that describes the practices targeted by the FTC proposal and why those practices can be bad: With a negative-option membership […]

Hoffman article proposes that low-stakes form contracts should be unenforceable

David A. Hoffman of Penn has written Defeating the Empire of Forms, forthcoming in the Virginia Law Review. Here’s the abstract: For generations, contract scholars have waged a faint-hearted campaign against form contracts. It’s widely believed that adhesive forms are unread and chock full of terms that courts will not, or should not, enforce. Most think […]

CFPB charges Portfolio Recovery Associates with continued illegal debt collection practices and consumer reporting violations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action this week against Portfolio Recovery Associates, one of the largest debt collectors in the nation, for violating a 2015 CFPB order and engaging in other violations of law. The CFPB’s proposed order, if entered by the court, would require Portfolio Recovery Associates to pay more than $12 million […]

FTC proposes “click to cancel” rule for subscriptions and memberships

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a “click to cancel” provision requiring sellers to make it as easy for consumers to cancel their enrollment as it was to sign up. The proposal would make several specific changes, including implementing a simple cancellation mechanism, new requirements before making additional offers, and new requirements regarding reminders and […]