Company That Paid YouTube Users To Promote Xbox One Settles Charges Of Deceptive Advertising

Company That Paid YouTube Users To Promote Xbox One Settles Charges Of Deceptive Advertising

When Microsoft teamed up with Machinima to launch a promotion that paid affiliated YouTubers for shilling for the Xbox One console in January 2014, we questioned whether any potential negative publicity and regulatory hassle would be worth it. Turns out, we were right to think the company would face scrutiny from federal regulators, as the Federal Trade Commission says it has cleared Microsoft of wrongdoing and settled charges that Machinima pushed videos of people endorsing the video game without disclosing they had been paid. [More]

Regulators Halt Alleged Energy Drink Pyramid Scheme That Targeted College Students, Other Young Adults

Regulators Halt Alleged Energy Drink Pyramid Scheme That Targeted College Students, Other Young Adults

Federal regulators continued their crackdown on supposedly deceptive dietary supplement companies this week by temporarily shutting down an Arizona-based company that allegedly ran a pyramid scheme promising college students they would rake in the big bucks by selling energy drinks. [More]

App Called RoboKiller Takes Top Prize In FTC’s Anti-Robocall Contest

App Called RoboKiller Takes Top Prize In FTC’s Anti-Robocall Contest

The Federal Trade Commission’s vendetta against robocalls continued today as the agency announced the winner of a contest – and $25,000 – for building an app that blocks and forwards the annoying calls. [More]

FTC Expected To Clarify Its Power To Police Unfair Competition

FTC Expected To Clarify Its Power To Police Unfair Competition

From time to time, the Federal Trade Commission is known to take on companies it believes create an environment of unfair competition. Over the years, some have seen the agency’s actions to be a bit arbitrary and wide-ranging. But that could soon change as officials are expected to unveil a policy statement this week specifying how it pursues antitrust cases. [More]

Regulators File Suit Against Data Broker That Helped Payday Loan Scammer Bilk $7M From Consumers

Regulators File Suit Against Data Broker That Helped Payday Loan Scammer Bilk $7M From Consumers

From time to time, federal regulators shut down shady payday lending companies that debit consumers’ accounts or charge their credit cards without permission. But those nefarious operations have to get their information from somewhere, right? Well, today the Federal Trade Commission sent a message to all of those companies providing such personal information to scammy-mcscammersons by taking action against a data broker operation that illegal sold payday loan applicants’ financial information. [More]

University Of Phoenix Faces Probe Into Military Recruiting Practices

University Of Phoenix Faces Probe Into Military Recruiting Practices

A little more than a week after federal regulators set their sights on the University of Phoenix for possible deceptive and unfair business practices, the California Attorney General’s office is joining the investigation party by opening a probe into the for-profit college’s military recruitment practices. [More]

Operators Of Credit Repair Business Masquerading As The FTC Must Return $2.4M To Consumers

Operators Of Credit Repair Business Masquerading As The FTC Must Return $2.4M To Consumers

Three months after regulators shut down a credit repair company catering mainly to Spanish-speaking consumers for falsely claiming to have a close relationship with the federal government – calling itself “FTC Credit Solutions” – and bilking thousands of dollars from individual consumers with empty promises of boosting their credit scores, the real Federal Trade Commission announced it has reached a settlement that will result in the return of $2.4 million to victims of the scam. [More]

Regulators Settle Charges That Reynolds, Lorillard Merger Would Be Anticompetitive

Regulators Settle Charges That Reynolds, Lorillard Merger Would Be Anticompetitive

A year after the No. 2 and No. 3 cigarette brands in the country first announced they were planning to go all-in on a $27.4 billion merger, regulators have approved an order settling charges that the deal would be anticompetitive for the U.S. cigarette market, paving the way for the merger to move forward. [More]

Regulators Investigating University Of Phoenix’s Business Practices

Regulators Investigating University Of Phoenix’s Business Practices

Apollo Education Group, owners of the country’s largest for-profit college – University of Phoenix – is the latest target for federal regulators set on reining in the for-profit education industry for engaging in allegedly deceptive marketing practices. [More]

Telemarketers Took Millions From Senior Citizens In Medicare Card Scam

Telemarketers Took Millions From Senior Citizens In Medicare Card Scam

There’s now one less unsavory, immoral, disrespectful group scamming senior citizens of their savings, as federal regulators took action against the operators of a scheme in which telemarketers pretended to be Medicare representatives in order to bilk millions of dollars from older consumers. [More]

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Sen. Al Franken Calls For Federal Investigation Into Apple Music

In response to concerns arising from the recent launch of Apple Music, U.S. Senator Al Franken called on both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the possibility that the tech giant may be creating an anticompetitive environment in the streaming music market. [More]

Complaint Alleges LifeLock Violated 2010 FTC Settlement By Continuing To Make False Claims

Complaint Alleges LifeLock Violated 2010 FTC Settlement By Continuing To Make False Claims

Back in 2010, identity theft protection company LifeLock entered into an $11 million settlement with federal regulators and several states regarding its use of allegedly false claims regarding the effectiveness of its services. According to those same regulators, the company has violated that agreement by continuing to make claims that fail the truth test.  [More]

Marketers Of Memory Supplement Must Pay $1.4M To Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

Marketers Of Memory Supplement Must Pay $1.4M To Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

Using fake news stories and trumped-up, unsubstantiated claims, the marketers of a supplement that claimed to be the answer to memory loss problems sold nearly $100 million worth of the stuff in just a few years. Now they have to fork over $1.4 million to federal and state authorities for making these deceptive statements, and face millions more in penalties if they fail to comply. [More]

Regulators Shut Down Debt Relief Operation That Took Millions From Consumers

Regulators Shut Down Debt Relief Operation That Took Millions From Consumers

The Florida Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission make a pretty effective pair when it comes to putting an end to companies and operations taking advantage of consumers. Just a day after the regulator and state’s attorney general teamed up to sue a company behind medical alert robocalls, the two entities announced they shut down a debt relief scheme that took million from consumers with credit card debt. [More]

Operators Of Massive Payday Loan Scheme Banned From Industry

Operators Of Massive Payday Loan Scheme Banned From Industry

The masterminds behind a massive payday loan scheme have agreed to be banned from the consumer lending industry to settle federal regulators’ charges they bilked millions of dollars from customers by trapping them into loans that were never authorized. [More]

Dollar Tree, Family Dollar Will Sell Off 330 Stores To Get Merger Approval

Dollar Tree, Family Dollar Will Sell Off 330 Stores To Get Merger Approval

A year after the sordid dollar store love triangle began and nearly seven months after Family Dollar chose Dollar Tree to have and to hold for a mere $9.2 billion, the merger process appears to be almost over with federal regulators officially asking the new couple to ditch 330 stores. [More]

Victims Of Debt Collection Scam To Start Receiving $4M In Refunds From FTC

Victims Of Debt Collection Scam To Start Receiving $4M In Refunds From FTC

More than a year after the Federal Trade Commission settled charges with a massive debt collection operation that extorted payments from consumer using false threats, those affected by the deceptive practices are finally seeing a bit of restitution in the form of checks totaling $4 million. [More]

Hyundai, Nissan Dealerships In Las Vegas Settle Deceptive Advertising Complaints

Hyundai, Nissan Dealerships In Las Vegas Settle Deceptive Advertising Complaints

Back in March, federal regulators teamed up with their Canadian counterparts to crack down on auto dealers’ deceptive, fraudulent practices. While that operation culminated in six enforcement actions resulting in more than $2.6 million in judgments and consumer refunds, that wasn’t enough for the Federal Trade Commission, as the agency has now charged two Las Vegas auto dealers with similarly misleading practices. [More]