Federal Trade Commission Opens Probe Into Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” Advertising

Federal Trade Commission Opens Probe Into Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” Advertising

The list of state and federal agencies probing Volkswagen’s recent emissions scandal grew by one Wednesday: The Federal Trade Commission announced it has opened an investigation into the company’s advertisements that touted “clean diesel” vehicles, despite the fact the cars contained “defeat devices,” which are designed to cheat emissions tests. [More]

Consumer, Privacy Groups Urge Federal Regulators To Investigate T-Mobile/Experian Hack

Consumer, Privacy Groups Urge Federal Regulators To Investigate T-Mobile/Experian Hack

A week after Experian revealed that hackers stole personal information for around 15 million consumers from a database of T-Mobile customers and applicants held by the credit reporting agency, a group of 25 consumer and privacy advocates are demanding that federal regulators open an investigation into the breach.
[More]

Operator Of Bogus Debt-Relief Scheme Must Return $7.9M To Harmed Consumers

Operator Of Bogus Debt-Relief Scheme Must Return $7.9M To Harmed Consumers

The operator of a bogus debt relief scheme that federal regulates say only left consumers deeper in debt must provide some actual assistance to those affected by the program in the form of a $7.9 million judgment imposed by the Federal Trade Commission.  [More]

Regulators Sue Weight-Loss Marketer Who Used Fines, Lawsuits To Stop Negative Consumer Reviews

Regulators Sue Weight-Loss Marketer Who Used Fines, Lawsuits To Stop Negative Consumer Reviews

Federal regulators on Monday continued their crackdown on deceptive, ineffective weight-loss products, this time by filing a lawsuit against a company that threatened to enforce a so-called “gag clause” by imposing fines and filing lawsuits to stop customers from posting negative reviews and testimonials for the products online.  [More]

Office Depot, Staples Merger Under Scrutiny In Europe

Office Depot, Staples Merger Under Scrutiny In Europe

The $6.3 billion merger between the top two office supply chains has hit yet another bump: the European Union opened an “extensive” investigation into the would-be union of Staples and rival Office Depot. [More]

The FTC declined to investigate whether a Walmart ad about investing in higher wages was misleading.

Regulators Won’t Investigate Claims That Walmart’s “Raise In Pay” Commercial Is Misleading

Federal regulators won’t investigate a Walmart television advertisement two months after an ad review board found the retailer might have misled TV viewers about recent changes in pay for Walmart workers. [More]

Feds Say Vision-Improvement App Not Backed By Science

Feds Say Vision-Improvement App Not Backed By Science

They say that staring at a computer for hours at a time can ruin you vision, so it might be hard to swallow claims that a mobile app can improve your vision… especially when science doesn’t back it up. [More]

Antitrust Concerns For Staples, Office Depot Merger Now Center On Corporate Supply Contracts

Antitrust Concerns For Staples, Office Depot Merger Now Center On Corporate Supply Contracts

In an effort to gain approval for their $6.3 billion proposed marriage to Staples, Office Depot announced last month it would close about 400 stores. While that move could certainly help the merger process, it appears that federal regulators are less worried about retail sales at physical stores, and more concerned about their contracts to provide supplies to large corporations and businesses. [More]

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]