Monday, January 24, 2022

Bureau of Competition: Premerger Notification Filings

  • The FTC announced the 2022 updates on the size of transactional thresholds for premerger notification filings and interlocking directorates. The size-of-transaction thresholds for reporting proposed mergers and acquisitions under Section 7A of the Clayton Act will adjust to $101 million, up from $92 million. The thresholds under Section 8 of the Act that trigger prohibitions on certain interlocking memberships on corporate boards of directors were also updated: $41,034,000 for Section 8(a)(l) and $4,103,400 for Section 8(a)(2)(A). Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter issued a statement, and Chair Lina M. Khan joined, which highlighted the FTCs updates and showed support for Congress’ efforts to increase certain fees and implement other adjustments to ensure that it is keeping pace with the U.S. economy.

Bureau of Competition: Horizontal Merger

  • The FTC approved a final order settling charges that the merger of supermarket operators, The Golub Corp. and Tops Market Corp., would likely be anticompetitive in 11 local markets across upstate New York and Vermont. Under the order, the operators agreed to divest 12 Tops supermarkets to C&S Wholesale Grocers. In addition, the parties are required to obtain FTC approval before selling or acquiring supermarkets in the affected markets and it requires C&S Wholesale Grocers to obtain FTC approval before selling any of the assets it acquired in the divestiture.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Advertising and Marketing

  • The FTC announced that Fashion Nova, LLC, an online “fast fashion” retailer, is required to pay $4.2 million to settle allegations that the company blocked negative reviews of its products from being posted to its website. According to the FTC’s complaint, Fashion Nova utilized a third-party product review interface that automatically posted four- and five-star reviews but suppressed lower ratings for the company to review and approve. It further alleged that between about 2015 through 2019, Fashion Nova never approved or posted the hundreds of thousands of lower-starred, negative reviews. As part of the settlement, Fashion Nova is prohibited from suppressing customer reviews of its products.

Bureau of Consumer Protection: Credit and Finance

  • The FTC announced that it is returning over $3.7 million to consumers who lost money due to, online lender, Avant, LLC’ s practices of falsely advertising that it would accept payments by credit or debit cards, when it did not do so. In addition, the FTC alleged that Avant withdrew money from customers’ bank accounts or charged their cards without authorization. It also failed to properly process payments made by check, communicated deceptive payoff quotes to customers, and attempted to collect more money than it quoted to customers.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Bureau of Competition: Supply Chain Disruptions

  • The FTC provided a 30-day extension to submit comments on the agency’s inquiry into supply chain disruptions. In November 2021, the agency launched an inquiry into large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers in order to understand and minimize the ongoing supply chain disruptions. The new deadline to submit comments is February 28, 2022.