federal trade commission

via NPR

Looking For “Facebook Customer Service” Online? Don’t Call This Scammy Number

When it comes to customer service, Facebook is notoriously difficult deal with, which is why people go searching on Google and elsewhere for any sort of reliable contact information for the site. But beware: There’s a scammy phone number lurking on the internet, passing itself off as “Facebook customer service.” [More]

frankieleon

VW To Pay $1.25B To Buy Back, Fix Cars With Emissions-Cheating ‘Defeat Devices’

And just like that, Volkswagen’s years-long “Dieselgate” scandal is nearing a conclusion as the carmaker has finally reached an agreement with federal regulators to fix and compensate owners of 78,000 3-liter diesel engine vehicles equipped with so-called defeat devices.  [More]

Phillip Bradshaw

FTC Opens Antitrust Investigation Of Mylan Over EpiPen’s Market Dominance

The EpiPen was a perfect symbol of the current state of pharmaceutical companies and health care expenses: It was a life-saving drug that had been around for decades, often used by children, and with a price that kept rising. The controversy over the epinephrine injectors led to news stories, a Congressional hearing, a $465 million settlement for overcharging Medicaid, and investigations by the states of New York and West Virginia.

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Nicholas Eckhart

Walgreens Slashes $2B From Value Of Rite Aid Merger; Up To 1,200 Stores To Be Sold Off

Last Friday, Jan. 27, was the deadline for the deal to close in the proposed acquisition of drugstore chain Rite Aid by competitor Walgreens. Today, the companies announced a revised deal with an eye to meeting Federal Trade Commission approval. This deal values Rite Aid at over $2 billion less, and proposes the sale of hundreds more stores to another drugstore chain. [More]

David Menidrey

5 Things We’ve Learned About How Companies Track You Online And Off

Is there an ad that seems to be following you everywhere? Perhaps you browsed for new sneakers in a slow moment at work a week ago, and now you see ads for them on every site you view on your phone? Or maybe you clicked an ad on Facebook, and now that company’s product seems to be stalking you around the internet, asking you to buy it in every sidebar ad you see. [More]

Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1B Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1B Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

Days after federal regulators sued smartphone and device chip maker Qualcomm accusing it of antitrust violations, one of the company’s largest customers, Apple, is following suit, seeking $1 billion in damages.  [More]

hildeaux

Feds Halt Phony Rental Home Scheme That Raked In Millions In Bogus Credit Check Fees

For years now we’ve been warning consumers about the apartment rental credit check scam: a scheme where homes (that may not even exist) are listed online with the sole purpose of tricking prospective renters into paying for “credit checks” that will never be done. Today, federal regulators announced they had put a stop to one company accused of using bogus listings and fees to swindle millions out of hopeful tenants. [More]

Qualcomm Faces Anti-Trust Lawsuit Over Patents, Licensing

Qualcomm Faces Anti-Trust Lawsuit Over Patents, Licensing

Your phone might say “Apple” or “Samsung” or “LG” on the outside, but inside there are parts from dozens of companies, including Qualcomm, which now stands accused by federal regulators of using anticompetitive tactics to maintain an alleged monopoly on one important cell phone component. [More]

Byron Chin

You Don’t Care About Your Friends’ Data, And 4 Other Things We Learned From Privacy Experts

The things we buy and use every day are increasingly connected — to the internet, and to each other — and while this new level of interconnection provides a slew of benefits, it also raises a new set of privacy problems and security challenges. Yet, as we recently learned, consumers are often self-centered when it comes to protecting their data and don’t give much thought to making their friends’ info available. [More]

Feds, New York Accuse Maker Of Prevagen Dietary Supplement Of False Advertising

Feds, New York Accuse Maker Of Prevagen Dietary Supplement Of False Advertising

Prevagen is a dietary supplement that claims to help improve memory in 90 days, but both federal and state regulators are accusing the company behind Prevagen of making false and unsubstantiated claims. [More]

frankieleon

Hotels Harm Consumers By Not Including ‘Resort Fees’ In Room Rates

Staying in a hotel comes at a price — there’s the room rate, service charges, taxes, and hotels are increasingly taking on “resort fees” to cover amenities like internet access, parking, gym, spa, and pool — even if you never use them. These fees, which can significantly increase the total cost of a room, are almost never included in the advertised price and are often minimized or omitted until it comes time to actually book your stay.
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Flyinace2000

Got An Idea On How To Make ‘Internet Of Things’ More Secure? You Could Win $25,000

Internet-connected (“smart”) devices are becoming ubiquitous, but they have this persistent problem: they’re internet-connected. A huge number are extremely vulnerable to being taken over by bad actors, for a whole host of reasons. And so, before your fridge becomes part of the next record-breaking botnet, the Federal Trade Commission wants to give someone cold, hard, cash money for coming up with a way to prevent it. [More]

1nelly

The FTC Has Some Questions About The Bass Pro Shops-Cabela’s Merger

Earlier this year, Bass Pro Shops offered to buy up one of its biggest competitors, Cabela’s, for $5.5 billion. The Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the deal now, and is raising concerns that this might be too much consolidation in the hunting and fishing market. [More]

STL Okie)

No, The FTC Did Not Email You That You’re Under Investigation

If the Federal Trade Commission is investigating you or your business, they will not send you an email asking you to click on a link for more information. How do we know that? The Federal Trade Commission says so. [More]

Great Beyond

Feds Halt Timeshare Scheme That Bilked $15 Million From Property Owners

When buying into a timeshare, many owners receive more weeks at the property than they could possibly use in their lives. This has created a second industry that focuses on reselling or renting out the properties. But, as the Federal Trade Commission showed this week, not all of these businesses are legitimate, some are just out to line their own pockets.  [More]

Amanda Hoffman

FTC Orders Company That Used Verizon ‘Supercookies’ To Disclose Terms, Provide Opt-Out

A couple of years ago, Verizon caught a lot of heat for a very sneaky practice: the company was inserting a unique, permanent piece of code into all the web traffic on your phone, without user consent, so that a third party could track your every digital move for advertising purposes. After a public outcry, Verizon finally stopped, and settled with the FTC… but that third-party remained a loose thread in the story. Until now. [More]

FTC Settlement Permanently Halts Alleged Energy Drink-Slinging Pyramid Scheme

FTC Settlement Permanently Halts Alleged Energy Drink-Slinging Pyramid Scheme

A year ago, a court agreed to put a temporary halt to an alleged pyramid scheme that made its money by convincing college students they could make big bucks shilling energy drinks — but only paying up for recruiting more sales friends instead. Today, the FTC has announced a settlement with the Vemma Nutrition Company that puts a halt to those practices for good. [More]

DeVry University Must Pay $100 Million To Former Students For Misleading Ads

DeVry University Must Pay $100 Million To Former Students For Misleading Ads

At the beginning of the year, the Federal Trade Commission sued popular for-profit college DeVry University, claiming the school’s advertising misled would-be students about how likely a DeVry degree is to get them a job. And now to ring out the year, the school and the Commission have reached a $100 million settlement that sends all that money right back into students’ pockets. [More]