Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

FTC obtains injunctions against telemarketing debt relief scam

In November 2022, the FTC brought a lawsuit against the operators of a telemarketing debt relief scheme based in Tennessee. Operating under a variety of trade names, the network had tricked consumers to part with tens of millions of dollars based on false promises to eliminate or substantially reduce credit card debt. This week, the […]

Federal agencies issue notice on fast-growing AI

As automated systems spread throughout the economy, federal agencies announce that they will use existing authorities to ensure compliance with the law. “We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that these rapidly evolving automated systems are developed and used in a manner consistent with federal laws,” said the heads of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, […]

FTC examines companies’ environmental claims

Politico reports: “As demand for sustainable products has skyrocketed, so have concerns about greenwashing. Public comments were due yesterday on the FTC’s first update in 11 years of its “Green Guides,” which are essentially advice for how companies can make environmental marketing claims. The nearly 60,000 comments shed light on what companies, industry trade groups […]

FTC approves order against company for hijacking online product reviews

The Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order against The Bountiful Company for abusing a feature of Amazon.com to deceive consumers into thinking that its newly introduced supplements had more product ratings and reviews, higher average ratings, and “#1 Best Seller” and “Amazon’s Choice” badges. Details, including a link to the complaint, are […]

Dickinson Article: Privately Policing Dark Patterns

Gregory M. Dickinson of St. Thomas has written Privately Policing Dark Patterns, 57 Ga. L. Rev. (2023 Forthcoming). Here is the abstract: Lawmakers around the country are crafting new laws to target “dark patterns”—user interface designs that trick or coerce users into enabling cell phone location tracking, sharing browsing data, initiating automatic billing, or making […]

Regulatory Review: “Reviewing the Regulation of Fake Reviews”

The Regulatory Review blog reports that “With 77 percent of online shoppers using reviews to inform their purchase decisions, customer reviews play a crucial role in shaping international commerce. Fake reviews, which include manufactured and deceptive reviews, constitute about 4 percent of all reviews online. This 4 percent translates to a cost to consumers of […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

FTC to hold virtual panel discussion on FTC career opportunities

The panel, to be conducted by the Bureaus of Consumer Protection and Competition, will be on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (EDT). Panelists include Alpa Davis, Health Care Division (BC), Eric Elmore, Mergers 2 Division (BC), Quinn Martin, Financial Practices Division (BCP), Rosario Mendez, Consumer & Business Education Division (BCP), Terry Thomas, Mergers 3 Division (BC), and Ricardo Woolery, Office of […]