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)

The FTC has placed Twitter in the hot seat again for privacy related practices that it alleges impacted over 140 million users. The Commission has also resolved actions pertaining to alleged magazine subscription scams and credit card laundering. In addition, the FTC is turning to the public to gather information regarding the recent infant formula shortage. These stories and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (May 23–27, 2022)

In the first half of 2022, manufacturers have been as busy as ever navigating recalled products and fielding the class action lawsuit that often (but do not always) follow.

CPAP Litigation Finds New Defendant 

For the last year, Philips Respironics (“Philips”) has been inundated with lawsuits  brought by consumers and medical device suppliers, over its CPAP and BiPAP breathing machines. And in more recent months, SoClean, a manufacturer of sanitation machines specifically designed to work with CPAP and BiPAP sleep apnea equipment, has been defending itself against a lawsuit of its own.

Continue Reading Recall Litigation Report: 2022 Mid-Year Recap

While the country was busy celebrating Star Wars Day and Cinco de Mayo, the FTC took a number of actions in the consumer protection realm. The agency reported success stories in relation to a credit repair scam, a multi-level marketing scheme, and even deceptively-advertised Internet speeds. In addition, the Commission initiated its second action using the new Made in USA rule, shortly after the first one—this time against an apparel company. The agency also ordered divestment of a subsidiary in a medical device company’s acquisition in the sinus field and sought public comments on the updates to the Energy Labeling Rule. Further, the Senate may begin working to restore the FTC’s power to obtain equitable monetary relief for consumers in federal court. These stories and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (May 2-13, 2022)

On May 12, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed into law the Amended New York City Pay Transparency Law, Int. 134-A, extending the effective date of that statute from May 15, 2022 to November 1, 2022.  The pay transparency law (“Law”) requires New York City employers and employment agencies with four or more employees, or employees or agents thereof (“Covered Employers”), to include compensation information in postings for new employment opportunities, internal promotions and transfers that they choose to post. The amendments clarify that (1) positions “that cannot or will not be performed, at least in part, in” New York City are exempt from the pay posting requirement; (2) either annual salary or hourly wage information must be disclosed in the posting; (3) a Covered Employer has a 30-day opportunity to cure, with no penalty, in response to a first administrative complaint of non-compliance; and (4) only current employees have a private right of action against their employers. The New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”) recently issued updated guidance to assist Covered Employers with the recent amendments. Continue Reading Effective Date of the New York City Pay Transparency Law Extended to November 1, 2022