(Don Buciak II)

FTC Challenges Sysco Acquisition Of US Foods

Sysco’s in-person meetings with the Federal Trade Commission didn’t have the desired effect. The foodservice supply giant wanted approval for its planned acquisition of competitor U.S. Foods, but the FTC thinks that Sysco wants to gobble up too much of the market. The commissioners voted 3-2 to block the merger. [More]

(Dan Coulter)

Demand That Phone Companies Give Consumers Free Tools To Block Robocalls

While federal regulations and the Do Not Call list have significantly cut down on some auto-dialed, prerecorded messages, the problem of illegal robocalls still persists, mostly because scammers don’t care if they break the law. There are various technologies that phone companies could use to preempt even more of these calls but most consumers don’t have access to them. [More]


Feds Warn That Claims Of Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags May Be Full Of… You Know

While some dog owners stick to tried-and-true methods of picking up their canine pals’ waste with the aid of plastic shopping bags, that’s a lot of plastic going into landfills. This is why there are several companies selling poo-collection bags labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable.” But the Federal Trade Commission is warning a number of the companies that make and market these products that they may be running afoul of laws against deceptive advertising. [More]


Appeals Court Sides With FTC In POM Wonderful False Advertising Case

The Federal Trade Commission hasn’t let the bee out of its bonnet over health claims made by POM Wonderful that it says amount to deceptive advertising, having kept on the company’s case since 2010. Now, eight months after POM made its case before a federal appeals court that it’s not being misleading about the things its juice can do, the court is siding with the FTC. [More]

In this post from 2012, the site's operator boldly declares that the site is completely legal, and that he is indemnified. The bottom portion of this screengrab details the rules for sending in photos to the site.

No More Posting Of Nude Photos For Operator Of Revenge Porn Site

My co-workers tell me that there are plenty of websites out there with images and footage of naked people who agreed to be photographed in such revealing conditions. But there are also so-called “revenge porn” sites that post intimate personal photos and videos of people who didn’t consent. Facing a lawsuit from federal regulators, the operator of one such site has agreed to get out of the revenge porn business. [More]

This ad from 2012, cited in the FTC complaint, shows that TracFone did not even mention the possibility of data throttling in the fine print.

TracFone To Refund $40 Million To Customers For Deceptive “Unlimited” Data Claims

Beginning in 2009, TracFone began selling supposedly unlimited prepaid data plans for $45 under brands like Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile, and Telcel America, but without clearly disclosing that users who went beyond certain monthly usage thresholds would have their data speeds throttled or cut off entirely. But today, in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, TracFone has agreed to refund $40 million to affected customers. [More]

FTC: Totally Fine By Us If Phone Companies Block Robocalling Numbers

FTC: Totally Fine By Us If Phone Companies Block Robocalling Numbers

Robocalls suck. Everyone hates them. And yet despite decades of trying to deal with autodialers and phone spam, they’re still a big problem. The FCC wants to know if phone companies can block them getting to you. Phone companies say too bad, so sad, the rules mean we can’t block them… but the FTC now disagrees. [More]

(Photo: Blitzcat)

Senator Calls On Regulators To Take Closer Look At Rent-To-Own Stores

To people strapped for cash but looking to make a big-dollar purchase, the idea of financing that item through a rent-to-own store can be tempting. After all, most of us can afford $30/month, but not everyone has $900 on hand. But those monthly payments may go on for years, meaning you’ll pay double or triple the face-value of that purchase by the time you’re done. In the last decade, this rent-to-own model has become increasingly popular, especially among lower-income Americans. Now one U.S. Senator is asking federal regulators to keep a close eye on this retail industry. [More]

AT&T Says It Can’t Be Sued By FTC Over Throttling Of Unlimited Data Plans

AT&T Says It Can’t Be Sued By FTC Over Throttling Of Unlimited Data Plans

Last October, the Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T, alleging that the wireless company failed to adequately disclose to its “unlimited” data customers that it could throttle their network speeds and that this throttling could slow their data speeds by upwards of 90%. In a recent court filing, AT&T claims that the FTC doesn’t have the jurisdiction to bring this lawsuit in the first place. [More]

(photo: colonelchi)

Yelp Says That The FTC Investigation Of Yelp Is Complete

The Federal Trade Commission has received a lot of complaints about Yelp––more than 2,000 from 2008 through last spring. These led to what Yelp calls “a deep inquiry into our business practices” by the FTC, which has lasted almost a year. Today, Yelp announced that the feds have closed their investigation, and won’t be taking any action against Yelp regarding its business practices. [More]

T-Mobile, AT&T Customers Can Now Request Their $170M In Refunds From Cramming Settlements

T-Mobile, AT&T Customers Can Now Request Their $170M In Refunds From Cramming Settlements

Earlier this year, AT&T and T-Mobile both reached major settlements with federal regulators over the illegal practice of cramming: third-party charges snuck onto wireless customers’ bills without their authorization. Combined, the two settlements will put about $170 million back in consumers’ pockets. But in order to get money back, consumers first have to ask for it. [More]

Feds Tell Nissan Dealer To Stop Saying Buyers Can Get Out Of Current Lease For Only $1

Feds Tell Nissan Dealer To Stop Saying Buyers Can Get Out Of Current Lease For Only $1

Have you been looking to get a new car but you’re stuck in the lease on your current vehicle? A Nissan dealership in Texas has been advertising that it will get you out of your present lease for only one dollar, but the Federal Trade Commission says the fine print tells a very different story. [More]

In early ads for the PS Vita (see below for actual video), Sony claimed that you could easily pause your PlayStation 3 game and then pick up where you left off using your Vita. In truth, most PS3 games did not support this cross play and the pause-and-play functionality rarely worked as advertised.

Sony To Issue Refunds Over Misleading PS Vita Ads

When Sony launched its handheld PlayStation Vita device nearly three years ago, ads promised that the Vita would include “game changing” technology, like the ability to play games stored remotely on PlayStation 3 consoles, or that you could save a game on your PS 3 and use your Vita to pick up where you left off, or that you could use the 3G version of the Vita to access a library of multiplayer games anywhere with a data connection. The Vita never quite lived up to this early hype, which is why — as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission — Sony will issue partial refunds to early adopters of the device. [More]

Why AT&T Is Being Sued Over Data Throttling But Verizon Isn’t (Yet)

Why AT&T Is Being Sued Over Data Throttling But Verizon Isn’t (Yet)

The glory days of unlimited mobile data plans are long behind us. For years, even the owners of “unlimited” plans have been subject to mysterious and inconsistent limits from their mobile providers. Yesterday, the poorly communicated limits of unlimited data became the core issue of a large lawsuit the FTC filed against AT&T. It’s the first time the agency has tackled data throttling at all, but if many companies are doing it, why target AT&T and not everyone else? [More]


AT&T Calls Throttling Lawsuit “Baseless… Baffling”

Earlier today, the Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T over the throttling of wireless subscribers with unlimited plans. Not surprisingly, the Death Star isn’t exactly pleased with the lawsuit. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T Sued By Feds For Throttling “Unlimited” Wireless Customers

A few years back, AT&T ticked off a lot of wireless customers with so-called “unlimited” plans by announcing that it would throttle data speeds for users who passed certain monthly thresholds. Though customers tried to sue in response, AT&T’s terms of service generally prevent class action suits from customers and force users into private, binding arbitration. But even though millions of customers can’t sue, the federal government can. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Feds: Don’t Say Your Plastic Shopping Bags Are Biodegradable If You Can’t Prove It

While cities and states around the country crack down on the overuse of plastic shopping bags, the Federal Trade Commission is warning manufacturers of these bags to refrain from making eco-friendly claims about their products unless those claims can be proven in the real world. [More]


FDA Going After Companies Offering Unapproved Ebola Medications

While the country is watching the news of every new Ebola case very closely, the federal government doesn’t want the worrying to get so out of hand that people start looking for medications to prevent or treat Ebola. Since there are currently none approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the government is already cracking down on a handful of companies promising to provide relief from Ebola. [More]