Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

Subscribe to Federal Trade Commission RSS Feed

Christine Wilson Sworn In as FTC Commissioner Following Maureen Ohlhausen’s Departure

Yesterday, Christine Wilson was sworn in as FTC Commissioner. Commissioner Wilson – the fifth and final Trump appointee – joins the FTC from Delta Airlines and assumes former Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen’s seat. Commissioner Ohlhausen announced her departure on Tuesday – the day her term ended, concluding over six years of service as Commissioner, including a … Continue Reading

FTC Hits Road Block in DIRECTV Advertising Case Seeking $3.95 Billion Remedy

The Northern District of California recently ruled on DIRECTV’s motion for judgment on partial findings in a case where the FTC is seeking $3.95 billion in damages. The FTC’s case alleges that DIRECTV engaged in misleading advertising over a span of more than a decade and across a variety of media channels ranging from television … Continue Reading

All That Glitters Is Not Gold: FTC Updates Jewelry Guides

The FTC recently finalized updates to its Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries, which provide the FTC’s interpretation of the jewelry marketing rules found in 16 C.F.R. §23.  The FTC hosted a roundtable in 2013, which we wrote about here, and considered stakeholder comments prior to finalizing the new Guides.  The updated … Continue Reading

Big Government? FTC Advocates for More Authority in Congressional Hearing

Last week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a Committee Hearing on the Oversight of the Federal Trade Commission. All five Commissioners attended and their message was largely the same: the FTC needs additional rulemaking and civil penalty authority to better protect consumers, especially as it applies to privacy and data security enforcement. … Continue Reading

Court Temporarily Halts Risky “Risk-Free” Offers

Last week, a California court granted a temporary restraining order against Triangle Media, a company that sells various types of products using “risk free” trials. According to the FTC, though, the trials were very risky, involved hidden charges, and violated various laws. When consumers clicked on ads for Triangle’s products, they landed on websites promoting … Continue Reading

FTC Examining How Consumer Protection and Privacy May Be Affecting Innovation and Competition; Seeking Input and Will Hold Policy Hearings to Address

The FTC announced yesterday that it will accept comments and hold a series of public hearings on consumer protection, privacy, and competition policy and enforcement.  The hearings will take place during fall and winter of this year and will evaluate whether recent changes in the economy, technology, or international landscape require adjustments to how the … Continue Reading

Worlds Collide: FTC Answers CPSC’s Request for Written Comments on IoT and Product Hazards

If you follow our blog, you know that we often write about issues involving the FTC and the CPSC, but we usually do not write about both in the same post. Now those worlds have collided. The staff of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection (“BCP”), a prominent voice in the Internet of Things dialogue, … Continue Reading

Andrew Smith Named Director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection

Andrew Smith was recently named Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. With a strong background in financial matters, businesses can expect Smith to focus on issues affecting consumer financial services. Smith is not a stranger to federal positions. Although most recently a Partner in the Regulatory and Public Policy Group at Covington & … Continue Reading

Why So BLU?: FTC Settles Privacy and Data Security Claims with Mobile Company; Fencing-In Relief Requires Consumer Opt-In to Data Sharing

Earlier this week, the FTC settled its case with BLU Products, Inc., a cell phone company the FTC claimed misled consumers about its privacy and data security practices. According to the agency, the company represented that it did not collect unnecessary personal information and that it imposed specific data security procedures to protect consumers’ personal … Continue Reading

Senate Confirms Full Slate of New FTC Commissioners

The Senate yesterday confirmed all five nominees to the Federal Trade Commission by voice vote, which means the five-person body will soon be restored to full capacity after over a year with only two Commissioners.  Current Chair Ohlhausen released a statement congratulating incoming Chair Joseph Simons and soon-to-be new Commissioners Noah Phillips, Becca Slaughter, Rohit … Continue Reading

FTC Files Complaint Against Lending Club for Allegedly Deceptive and Unfair Online Loan Practices

The FTC today filed a complaint against Lending Club alleging that it deceived consumers by advertising loans with “no hidden fees” and subsequently concealing substantial loan origination fees.  The complaint points to consumer complaints and internal compliance documents as evidence that Lending Club knew that consumers were being misled and continued to misrepresent the loans … Continue Reading

New Article on Whether A Single FTC Commissioner Constitute A Quorum

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny is scheduled to resign effective April 28 and may leave with acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen as the sole commissioner. Law360  published an article by partner John Villafranco and professor Stephen Calkins that discusses whether the FTC can take formal action by a 1-0 vote and when does a commission cease being a commission? To read … Continue Reading

Senate Commerce Committee Holds Confirmation Hearings on FTC Chair and Commissioner Nominees

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held confirmation hearings yesterday for the four nominees to the Federal Trade Commission: Joseph Simons (nominated as Chair), Rohit Chopra, Noah Phillips, and Christine Wilson.  We previously discussed the nominations of Simons, Chopra, and Phillips here.   Wilson, currently a Senior Vice President at Delta Airlines and previously Chief … Continue Reading

FDA & FTC Issue Joint Warning Letters to Companies Marketing Products to Overcome Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal

The FDA & FTC today posted warning letters to 11 marketers and distributors of opioid cessation products, alleging that such products were unapproved new drugs that violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and that made unsubstantiated, deceptive claims in violation of the FTC Act.  In addition to the 11 joint warning letters … Continue Reading

2017 Recap

Most Popular Ad Law Access Posts of 2017 As reported in our Ad Law News and Views newsletter, Kelley Drye’s Advertising Law practice posted 106 updates on consumer protection trends, issues, and developments to this blog in 2017. Here are some of the most popular: New Lawsuit Highlights Risks of Using User-Generated Content FTC Announces $1.3 … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Business Guidance on Multi-Level Marketing, Memorializing Principles from Prior Settlements on Hot Button Issues

The FTC released today Business Guidance Concerning Multi-Level Marketing, which offers answers to frequently asked questions to assist multi-level marketers in evaluating their business practices for compliance with the FTC Act.  The Guidance begins by restating the general standard for pyramid schemes set forth in the FTC’s 1975 Koscot decision and then goes on to … Continue Reading

On the Eve of the FCC’s Reclassification of Broadband Services, the FCC and FTC Release Memorandum of Understanding for Oversight of Broadband

On December 11, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will allocate oversight and enforcement authority related to broadband Internet access service (BIAS) between the two agencies.  The new MOU was announced three days before the FCC’s scheduled vote to reclassify BIAS as … Continue Reading

FTC Announces $1.3 Million Settlement in Negative Option Case

Last week, the FTC announced that an online lingerie company had agreed to return more than $1.3 million to customers who enrolled in a negative-option membership program offering discounts and other benefits. Under Adore Me’s VIP program, a member would be charged $39.95 per month, unless the member either purchased apparel or pressed a “skip” … Continue Reading

Investing Under the Influence? SEC Issues Warning Letters to Celebrities and Social Influencers

Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a warning to celebrities and social influencers who use social media to encourage consumers to invest and/or purchase stocks. Recent celebrity endorsements for investment in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) were highlighted as examples in the SEC’s warning. In the future, if celebrities and social influencers … Continue Reading

KDW Ad Law Presents “Advertising Under The Influence: Rules of the Road For Your Company’s Next Influencer Campaign” via Webinar on Thursday, November 9, at Noon Eastern

Social media influencers help drive consumer engagement with the brands they love. Better reviews, more “likes,” and thousands of re-tweets can all add up to a bigger bottom line and greater insight into what sells and what doesn’t. When the line between advertising and objective content isn’t made clear, though, it can also prompt legal … Continue Reading

House Antitrust Subcommittee Explores the Role of Antitrust Law in Net Neutrality

On November 1, 2017 the House Antitrust Law Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the role of federal agencies in preserving an open Internet. The core question discussed at the hearing was whether current antitrust law is sufficient to ensure net neutrality absent FCC rules. The panelists—including FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen and Commissioner Terrell … Continue Reading

FTC Issues Enforcement Policy on Collection and Use of Voice Recordings of Children Under COPPA

On Monday, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement stating that the Commission will not take action against operators that collect an audio file of a child’s voice as a replacement for written words, such as for translation into text, without first obtaining parental consent, provided the file is retained only for the brief time … Continue Reading

Trump To Nominate Competition-Focused Simons for FTC Chair, CP-Focused Chopra for Commissioner; Reports of Phillips for Additional Seat

After months of speculation among the consumer protection and antitrust bars, Trump announced today his intention to nominate former Director of the Bureau of Competition and current Paul Weiss partner Joseph Simons as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.  Trump also announced his plan to nominate Rohit Chopra, currently a senior fellow at the Consumer … Continue Reading

FTC’s “Made in USA” Enforcement On Pace With Prior Years

In a keynote address at the National Advertising Division conference earlier this month, Mary Engle, Associate Director in the Advertising Practices Division of the FTC, included “Made in USA” as among the agency’s current enforcement priorities.   The FTC’s interest in U.S. origin claims is nothing new, but these claims have garnered considerable regulatory attention in … Continue Reading
LexBlog