Scott Akerman

Regulators Widen Investigation Into Google’s Pre-Loaded Android Apps

A week after European regulators announced an investigation into Google’s requirements that Android-based devices come pre-loaded with Google apps, a similar stateside probe is finally getting off the ground.  [More]

Evil Erin

Indoor Tanning Company Issuing Refunds After Claiming Tanning Won’t Increase Cancer Risk

Because there is no magical indoor tanning system that uses UV lamps and comes with a 100% guarantee you will not get cancer from using it, a company that marketed indoor tanning systems will have to pay out refunds to consumers under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. [More]

Companies Agree To Stop Promoting Beauty Products With Synthetic Ingredients As “All Natural”

Companies Agree To Stop Promoting Beauty Products With Synthetic Ingredients As “All Natural”

One would assume when buying a product marketed as “all-natural” or “100% natural” that said product wouldn’t contain synthetic ingredients like phenoxyethanol or polyethylene, right? Wrong. At least, that’s the cases for five companies facing action by federal regulators for allegedly making false claims about their products’ ingredients.

[More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Staples & Office Depot Ask Judge To Toss Antitrust Lawsuit Without Defending Merger

Two weeks after the beginning of a federal court hearing on the proposed mega-merger between Office Depot and Staples, the office supply chains’ lawyers have decided not to present a defense against the Federal Trade Commission’s claim that the deal is bad for consumers and businesses.  [More]

Judge Scolds FTC For Maybe Telling Amazon Exec What To Say In Staples-Office Depot Hearing

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Is Amazon a valid competitor to Staples and Office Depot for the business of corporate office supply customers? In a hearing in the federal lawsuit that the Federal Trade Commission has filed against the two retailers, the government argues that it isn’t yet, and the two stores argue that it is, or soon will be. Yesterday, an attorney for Staples accused the FTC of telling an Amazon executive what to say in his testimony about his company’s plans for office supply domination, earning criticism from the judge. [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Staples, Office Depot: FTC’s Opposition To Billion-Dollar Merger Is “Flawed,” “Wrong”

Three months after federal regulators filed a lawsuit to stop the nightmare dream formation of the $6.3 billion StaplesMaxDepot Voltron , the CEOs of the mega-office supply chains are fed up, and they’re taking that frustration to the customers by airing their true thoughts on the Federal Trade Commission’s attempt to stop the deal.  [More]

VA Suspends DeVry University’s Participation In “Principles Of Excellence” Program

VA Suspends DeVry University’s Participation In “Principles Of Excellence” Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it would suspend DeVry University’s status as a Principles of Excellence institution after reviewing a federal lawsuit that accuses the popular for-profit college chain of deceiving prospective students about their employment potential after graduation.  [More]

Adam Fagen

Feds Sue To Halt Illegal Solar Panel Telemarketing Operation

It’s not against the law to tell people they might be able to save money by slapping some solar panels on their roofs. What is illegal is using millions of unauthorized calls to people on the Do Not Call list to sell those solar panels.
[More]

frankieleon

Operation That Illegally Debited Consumers’ Bank Accounts Must Repay $43M

Months after federal regulators ordered a data broker to pay $7.1 million for selling consumers’ sensitive information to scammers, a court ordered one of those alleged scammers and its subsidiaries and operators to provide $43 million in relief to victims. [More]

(Jim Chambers)

Staples To Close 50 Stores In Preparation For Life With Or Without Office Depot

As it awaits the final verdict from regulators on its pending billion-dollar purchase of rival office supply chain Office Depot, Staples is preparing to go it alone by announcing plans to shutter at least 50 of its own stores in order to slow declining sales.  [More]

(harrell99)

Data Broker Must Pay $4.1M For Selling Sensitive Information To Scammers

Data brokers are companies that collect and aggregate information on consumers to create detailed profiles that are then sold to other companies to determine if an individual is qualified for loans, mortgages, jobs, and other things. But sometimes, these companies get their hands on unauthorized, highly sensitive personal information and sell it. Today, four connected data brokers agreed to settle federal charges of selling this sort of information to unscrupulous customers. [More]

Essendant Agrees To Buy Commercial Business From Staples And Office Depot If FTC Approves Merger

Essendant Agrees To Buy Commercial Business From Staples And Office Depot If FTC Approves Merger

Staples and Office Depot want to merge and form one mega-chain of office supply stores that you mostly visit to drop off UPS packages. The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t approve of this union, because both sell supplies and serve as wholesalers to smaller office suppliers. The companies announced late yesterday that they’ve reached an agreement with Essendant, a smaller national supplier, to take over some of that business if the merger goes through. [More]

Rite Aid Shareholders Vote To Approve $9.4B Merger With Walgreens

Rite Aid Shareholders Vote To Approve $9.4B Merger With Walgreens

Walgreens’ path to bring Ride Aid under its wing passed one hurdle on Thursday, as shareholders for the latter chain of drug stores approved a $9.4 billion merger plan.  [More]

You Can’t Claim Your Glue Is “Made In USA” If It’s Made From Imported Chemicals

You Can’t Claim Your Glue Is “Made In USA” If It’s Made From Imported Chemicals

While there’s no official pre-approval process for products labeled “Made In U.S.A,” there are federal standards for what that phrase means, and a company can get into trouble for slapping “Made In U.S.A.” on imported products — like the glue company accused of misleading consumers about where its sticky stuff comes from.
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DeVry University Accused Of Deceptive Advertising & Misleading Students On Job Prospects

DeVry University Accused Of Deceptive Advertising & Misleading Students On Job Prospects

Federal regulators continued a crackdown on allegedly unscrupulous for-profit college companies Wednesday, filing a lawsuit against DeVry University. The popular chain of schools stands accused of deceiving prospective students about their employment potential after graduation.  [More]

Staples Cuts Jobs In Preparation For Life With Or Without Office Depot Merger

Staples Cuts Jobs In Preparation For Life With Or Without Office Depot Merger

It appears that Staples is adhering to the adage, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst,” when it comes to their challenged billion-dollar merger with rival Office Depot. This week, the retailer took steps to streamline its operation, changing its management team and reportedly laying off hundreds of employees at its headquarters.  [More]

Staples, Office Depot Extend Merger Deadline To Fight Antitrust Lawsuit

Staples, Office Depot Extend Merger Deadline To Fight Antitrust Lawsuit

Just because the Federal Trade Commission went to court in an effort to block the pending merger of Staples and Office Depot, doesn’t mean the companies are putting the mega-deal behind them. In fact, the office-supply chains have extend the contract for their proposed $6.3 billion merger to allow more time to placate antitrust regulators.  [More]

Judge Orders University Of Phoenix Parent Company To Turn Over Documents To Feds

Judge Orders University Of Phoenix Parent Company To Turn Over Documents To Feds

Just because the University of Phoenix may be able to once again recruit on military bases and enroll new students using the military tuition assistance program doesn’t mean the for-profit college behemoth’s problems are behind it. Instead, a court ruled last week that the school’s parent company, Apollo Education Group, must provide records requested by federal investigators nearly six months ago.  [More]