A few weeks back it seemed likely that the Department of Justice would let loose a little and allow Anheuser-Busch InBev to merge with Grupo-Modelo, and now it’s official. The DOJ announced today that it had approved the merger after a settlement soothed its fears over anti-competitiveness. Or maybe Anheuser just kept plying it s new BFF with drinks until it agreed.* [More]
Today American Airlines and its betrothed, US Airways had to defend their proposed merger in front of a Senate hearing and several consumer advocates. Citing higher fares, reduced service to smaller communities in the U.S. and a loss of competition among carriers, opponents of the impending nuptials testified at a Judiciary Committee hearing that such a joint venture would hurt consumers. [More]
Like all consumers, servicemembers of the United States can fall under the sway of scammers seeking to take ‘em for all they’ve got. But due to their specific circumstances they’re often the focus of a wide range of fraudulent businesses and other predatory practices. [More]
The Justice Department is close to wrapping up one more piece of the e-book pricing dispute that’s been going on for months, announcing today it had reached a settlement with Pearson Penguin Group. The government had alleged that Penguin, four other publishers and Apple had been in cahoots to unfairly fix e-book prixes. [More]
Things have got to be tense over at BP right now, as reports are whirling here there and everywhere that the company is likely going to shell out billions of dollars to pay a criminal penalty related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also reportedly going to plead guilty to criminal misconduct as part of the plea deal it’s reached with the Department of Justice. [More]
Big Tobacco came away with a win in August when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that cigarette packaging shouldn’t be required to feature graphic health warnings about the dangers of smoking. But the Food and Drug Administration seems to be on a team with the Justice Department, as the latter agency is asking for a full appeals court to reconsider that idea. [More]
The Justice Department is reportedly engaged in an anti-trust investigation into many areas where the cable TV industry might be acting inappropriately to try and quell competition from online video. Many consumers want to pick and choose what they watch, using services like Hulu and Netflix, whereas cable companies would like them to continue to pay for bundles of TV channels, even some they might not watch. [More]
Responding to allegations from the U.S. Department of Justice that Full Tilt Poker proprietors operated a global Ponzi scheme, attorneys of the online poker emporium responded with the legal equivalent of “nu-uh!” [More]
Looks like Full Tilt Poker just went bust. The Department of Justice has accused the site’s proprietors of operating a “global Ponzi scheme” in which the owners got paid with money they told players was being safely held. [More]
The for-profit college industry has earned a reputation for shady methods of operation, such as peddling flimsy academic credentials for high prices and minimal effort in the classroom, and now the government is taking one of the largest corporations in the industry to court. [More]
The U.S. Department of Justice is said to be investigating allegations that Wells Fargo discriminated against black borrowers, offering high-interest, subprime mortgages that seemed geared to lead to default. [More]
Preparing to settle a Department of Justice investigation of “use of Google advertising by certain advertisers,” Google has set aside $500 million to make the investigation go away. [More]
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D) of New Jersey has asked the FTC and the Justice Department to investigate the relationship between Ticketmaster and its reseller website, TicketsNow, after consumers who tried to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets encountered technical problems that prevented purchase, and were then redirected to TicketsNow where prices were “hundreds of dollars above face value” (actually, more like “thousands of dollars,” based on our check just a few minutes ago).
The Consumer Law & Policy blog says that three consumer advocacy groups, Public Citizen, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) and Consumer Action, have filed a lawsuit in order to force the Department of Justice to enforce a law passed in 1992 that requires a national database of auto information gathered from insurance companies. The database would allow consumers to “instantly check the validity of the car’s title and odometer reading and learn whether it had been stolen or severely damaged in the past.”
Verizon customers in Maine asked the Public Utilities Commission to investigate whether the cellphone company handed over their phone records to the NSA. A July 28th letter from the DOJ to the PUC asked them to demure, and intimated at possible legal action.
Bad news for those of us who don’t want the long-distance sex calls we made to our Canadian girlfriends shouted mockingly at us when we’re tied to a chair with a burlap sack over our face in between a knee-thwacking with a length of hose. The Department of Justice has filed a motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit by the EFF against AT&T for illegally complying with NSA wire-tapping of citizens’ lines.
s lap dog federal agencies help industries gain shielding from consumer and state lawsuits. Among the erosions: