New E-Bay Aribtration Agreements with Its Customers Include Class-Action Ban (but with an opt out)

We posted recently about Microsoft's new arbitration clause with its subscribers banning class actions a la AT&T v. Concepcion. Now, Ebay has amended its form contract with its users to do the same thing. But the contract has a twist. Users can opt out: Opt-Out Procedure You can choose to reject this Agreement to Arbitrate […]

Times Report: Debt Collectors Harness Prosecutors

by Jeff Sovern Today's Times has a story headlined "In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner."  An excerpt: The letters are sent by the thousands to people across the country who have written bad checks, threatening them with jail if they do not pay. They bear the seal and signature of the local district attorney’s […]

Voluntary Blocking of “Offensive Material” by Facebook and Google

by Paul Alan Levy Two voluntary takedowns of user-generated have been in the news lately, spurring some reflections, on the one hand, about the dangers of becoming overly dependent on certain platforms for free expression, and about how online service providers exercise their discretion under section 230 to remove material even though the providers cannot […]

AP Story: Consumer regulator barks; an industry shudders

Here. An excerpt: For some banks and industrial lenders, the new oversight may be so costly that they stop offering some products, says Bill Himpler, vice president of the American Financial Services Association, a trade group for card companies, mortgage lenders and finance companies. He says the bureau's tactics put companies on the defensive. "It […]

It’s Official: New York City Bans Super-Sized Sugary Drinks

We've blogged a number of times (for instance, here and here) on NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. The idea is behavior modification: One factor in obesity is drinking sugary drinks, and the ban will force some consumers to drink less of them. […]

Paper on Behavioral Advertising

Chris Jay Hoofnagle of Berkeley, Ashkan Soltani of Berkeley's School of Information, Nathan Good of Good Research, Dietrich James Wambach, a student at Wyoming, and Mika Ayenson of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute have written Behavioral Advertising: The Offer You Cannot Refuse, 6 Harvard Law & Policy Review 273 (2012).  Here's the abstract: At UC Berkeley, […]

CFPB Issues Second Semi-Annual Report; Nearly Mum on Enforcement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued its 82-page second semi-annual report. It should be an interesting read. This article by Jenna Green notes that the report contains only "four sentences about the Office of Enforcement — even though the category "Supervision, Enforcement, Fair Lending" accounted for a hefty $63 million in agency spending through June […]

McDonald’s to Disclose Calories

First, there were a handful of cities, such as New York, San Francisco, and Philadelphia, that required chain restaurants to disclose the calories in the foods they sell. Some counties followed suit. California joined in. Then, as part of the Affordable Care Act, Congress demanded calorie disclosure nationwide, but the new rules probably won't go […]