The FTC has been aggressive wrapping up the fiscal year before the Labor Day weekend—it initiated several actions across various industries, protecting consumers from sensitive data leak to deceptive “pre-approved” credit offers. The Commission also issued its E-Cigarette Report for 2019-2020, which highlights dramatic surge in sale of flavored disposable e-cigarettes and menthol e-cigarette cartridges. Last but not the least, the FTC is sending checks totaling more than $1.9 million to consumers who bought Hubble brand contact lenses from Vision Path, Inc. This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 29-September 2, 2022)

The FTC released its policy paper and fact sheet urging state legislatures to avoid using Certificate of Public Advantage (“COPA”) laws and instead invited state lawmakers to work collaboratively with competition policy experts to minimize the potentially harmful effects of further hospital consolidation. This follows that Agency’s recent blocking of a number of healthcare provider mergers, emphasizing the Commission’s focus on preventing what it considers anticompetitive hospital mergers. The Agency also announced that it will be sending out checks totaling more than $822,000 to borrowers that lost money to a student loan debt-relief scheme. These stories after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 15-19, 2022)

The FTC unveiled its Proposed Rule on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security. The Commission relied on the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act and the Made in USA Labeling Rule to refer a complaint against personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and light fixture manufacturers. The case marks the second time the FTC has used the Made in the USA Labeling Rule to target companies for allegedly deceptive claims. Commissioner Alvaro Bedoya spoke at the National Association of Attorneys General Presidential Summit on technology threats to consumer protection. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 8-12, 2022)

The FTC made a big splash this week when it filed an injunction to block Meta from buying a virtual reality company, arguing that the acquisition was anticompetitive. This filing follows Chair Khan’s comments at the April 2022 Antitrust and Competition Conference focusing on mergers as an enforcement priority, and her view that agency inaction is worse than the risk of agency backlash. This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (July 25-29, 2022)

Despite imposing onerous new compliance terms, the recently announced Vornado civil penalty was criticized by three commissioners as too low amid their urgent calls for larger penalties in the future. On July 7, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a $7.5 million civil penalty settlement with manufacturer of air circulation products, Vornado Air (Vornado). Vornado agreed to pay the civil penalty to resolve charges that the Company knowingly failed to immediately report allegedly defective electric space heaters to the CPSC under Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). The Commission voted 4-0-1 to provisionally accept the settlement. Notably, three of the agency’s five commissioners published individual statements alongside the agency’s announcement of the penalty, which is atypical. The statements provide product safety stakeholders with insights on how the “new” Commission views civil penalties and its enforcement authority. 

Continue Reading “Wiping the Slate Clean”— CPSC Commissioners Signal Higher Penalties to Come in Wake of Vornado Penalty Resolution

The FTC, in the week leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, took action in multiple healthcare arenas, including supplements and Ear, Nose and Throat (“ENT”) specialty products. The agency also successfully shut down a scammer who used PPP loans to sell bogus grant funding packages to minority-owned businesses in Florida. These stories and more after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (June 27 – July 1, 2022)

This week, the Commission issued more than 30,000 checks, totaling more than $11 million, to consumers and small businesses for cases settled pre-AMG. The FTC also issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Motor Vehicle Dealers Trade Regulation Rule that could have a significant impact on car marketing and sales tactics. The Commission also finalized orders against a mattress and bedding retailer making “Made in USA” claims and an online retailer of customizable goods for consumer data and privacy concerns. These stories and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (June 21-24, 2022)

This week, the Commission announced that it blocked a hospital merger in Utah and New Jersey and ordered an oil and gas divestiture in Michigan. The FTC also issued a policy statement on exclusionary rebates and fees in prescription drug pricing and submitted a report to Congress on combatting online harms through innovation. Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips issued a dissenting statement regarding the FTC’s report to Congress, and Commissioner Christine Wilson questioned whether the FTC’s Fuel Rating Rule under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act is necessary. These stories and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (June 13-17, 2022)

The FTC had a busy week, taking multiple actions against alleged scammers and pyramid schemes in the finance and credit industries. In merger news, the agency announced a workshop on pharmaceutical mergers, and it took enforcement actions related to several mergers in a variety of industries. The FTC also issued a report showing that consumers have lost a whopping $1 billion in cryptocurrency scams since 2021. These stories and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (May 30-June 3, 2022)