Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) recently announced that it has adjusted the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for violations of 16 provisions that the Commission enforces. The increase is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, and is intended to account for inflation. The act directs agencies to implement annual inflation adjustments based on a prescribed formula. Given the uptick in FTC enforcement actions, companies are likely to begin feeling the impact of the increased penalties in the coming year.

As our readers likely recall, the Supreme Court’s 2021 ruling in AMG Capital Management LLC v. Federal Trade Commission removed a powerful tool that the FTC had previously relied on to pursue monetary relief in federal court. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the Federal Trade Commission cannot obtain equitable monetary relief, such as disgorgement or restitution, when it pursues district court litigation directly under Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act” or “Act”). Rather, to obtain such relief, the FTC must first follow its administrative adjudication procedures under Section 5 of the Act.

Continue Reading How Much Could Violating a FTC Rule Cost You? $50,120 Per Violation?

The FTC kicked off the holiday season analyzing data on fraudulent online shopping, cryptocurrency, and employment advertisements that are popular on social media. The Commission also announced updates to the Eyeglass Rule while also announcing the public comment period for potential updates to the Green Guides. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (December 5 – December 16, 2022)

Following Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day, the FTC announced an almost $10 million settlement with Google and iHeartMedia related to their allegedly deceptive past endorsements of Google’s Pixel 4 phone and released the Commission’s annual market concentration analysis of the ethanol production industry. These stories after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (November 28 – December 2, 2022)

The week and a half proceeding the Thanksgiving federal holiday was busy for the Federal Trade Commission. Not only did the Commission release yearly updates such as its Fiscal Year 2022 Agency Financial Report and National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2022, it also filed three complaints, an amicus brief and announced an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking. The Bureau of Consumer Protection has been busy in November and focused on many false advertising and deceptive business practice issues. These stories, plus more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (November 14-23, 2022)

Thursday, November 10, was a big day for the FTC asserting its competition authority, from an announcement to strengthen FTC enforcement of Section 5 to weighing in on hiring restrictions. These stories, plus warnings of limited options for medication, an upcoming open Commission meeting, and more, after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (November 7-11, 2022)

The FTC hosted an online privacy seminar that brought together researchers, academics, and industry representatives to discuss trends related to consumer privacy and data security. The agency announced a lawsuit against an education technology provider for allegedly lax data security practices that exposed sensitive information about millions of customers and employees. The agency also announced a settlement with a major telecommunications company over alleged junk fees and dark pattern practices. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (October 31 – November 4, 2022)

It’s rulemaking week at the FTC, particularly within the Bureau of Consumer Protection. The agency announced multiple Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking for public comment in connection with its October 20, 2022 Open Commission meeting. These Notices and other FTC reports this week touch on fake reviews, illegal fees, protecting older consumers, right-to-repair issues, energy costs, and even funeral services. FTC Commissioners issued a joint statement responding to allegations that its staff traded stocks and funds more than those at any other major agency, while FTC Chair Lina Khan and Department of Justice Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Johnathan Kantor met with European competition officials on regulating digital markets. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (October 10-21, 2022)