Audrey Brevet

Government Warns Eye Doctors: Provide Prescriptions After Eye Exams Or Else

It’s really easy to find eyeglass stores that also offer eye exams. You get your eyes checked, pick out the frames, and get the final product all from the same place, so you might not notice that you didn’t get a copy of your prescription after the exam. That’s against the law, and one federal agency is reminding eye doctors of the costly penalty for failing to provide prescriptions. [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Why Didn’t Staples And Office Depot Bother With A Defense Against The FTC?

On Tuesday evening, a federal judge in Washington, DC issued a preliminary injunction preventing the merger of Staples and Office Depot. The two companies called off their merger after that, but here’s the thing about the hearing: the FTC presented its case against the formation of an international office supply Voltron, but the stores decided not to put up a defense. In hindsight, that seems like a terrible idea. Why would they do that? [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

The Staples-Office Depot Merger Is Dead

The opinion issued today by U.S. District Court judge Emmet Sullivan doesn’t actually say that the country’s biggest office supply chain, Staples, can’t acquire the #2 office supply chain, Office Depot. As the Federal Trade Commission requested, the judge granted a preliminary injunction stopping the merger. That prevents the companies from merging until the FTC is done with their administrative antitrust case, but representatives of the two companies previously said that they would break the engagement if the FTC prevailed. [More]

Simon Asquith

Government Asks Wireless Manufacturers & Carriers About Device Security Updates

At the same time as their counterparts at the Justice Department are trying to circumvent smartphone security, the folks at the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission are talking to manufacturers about how to make these devices more secure. [More]

gabster_ro

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear POM Wonderful’s Appeal In False Advertising Case

After nearly six years of legal wrangling over allegations of false advertising, the makers of POM Wonderful pomegranate beverages ran into a dead end this morning when the nation’s highest court refused to hear the company’s appeal. [More]

PayPal’s Venmo Peer-To-Peer Payment Service Under Federal Investigation

PayPal’s Venmo Peer-To-Peer Payment Service Under Federal Investigation

Venmo is a PayPal-owned money-transfer service that allows users to send payments to each other over the internet. Yesterday, PayPal revealed that Venmo is currently under investigation by federal regulators. [More]

Amazon Found Liable For Unfairly Billing Parents For Kids’ In-App Purchases

Amazon Found Liable For Unfairly Billing Parents For Kids’ In-App Purchases

There’s a time-tested rule that if someone gives a child an easy way to unwittingly spend your money, you will soon be looking at a thick bill containing a large number of tiny purchases. Today, a federal court ruled that Amazon failed to do enough to alert Kindle Fire owners — and users of Amazon’s Android appstore — that “Free” apps could still allow kids to make costly in-app transactions. [More]

geetargeek

From “Yay” To “Boo” To “Shrug,” Here’s What Everyone Had To Say About FCC’s Set-Top Box Proposal

When the FCC voted in February to consider new rules for your cable box, that kicked off a multi-month cycle of public comments, where anyone and everyone can have their say. The deadline for the first round struck at midnight Friday, which means most of the comments are just rolling onto the internet for all and sundry to have a look at.

[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]

“ROBOCOP Act” Would Force Phone Companies To Do Something About Robocalls

“ROBOCOP Act” Would Force Phone Companies To Do Something About Robocalls

As we’ve shown before, wireless and landline phone companies can do something to provide customers with free and easy-to-use tools to block unwanted automated calls — they just aren’t doing it, even when hundreds of thousands of consumers explicitly ask them to. A new piece of legislation introduced today hopes to compel the telecom providers to finally make it easier for customers to just say no to robocalls. [More]

n4i

Remember: Your Eye Doctor Should Give You Your Prescriptions After Your Exam

Generally, you don’t visit your doctor and then buy the medicine that she prescribes right from her office. Contact lenses are different: you generally order those directly from your doctor’s office, and you often order glasses from the same place too. Yet you don’t actually have to: you have the right to actually buy your glasses or contacts anywhere that you want, whether it’s for a better price or because you really like Warby Parker frames. [More]

Feds Say Drug Company Illegally Blocked Lower-Cost Generics From Entering Market

Feds Say Drug Company Illegally Blocked Lower-Cost Generics From Entering Market

When a drug patent nears its end, drug companies sometimes do really stupid, potentially illegal things to delay or prevent their bottom line being dinged by a lower-cost generic version. One drug company is accused of not just paying off a generic drug maker to delay the release of its version of two medications, but further hurting consumers by agreeing to not compete with the generic. [More]

Cancer Charities That Scammed $75M From Donors Must Shut Down, Issue Refunds

Cancer Charities That Scammed $75M From Donors Must Shut Down, Issue Refunds

Last May, an investigation involving federal regulators and prosecutors from all 50 states led to four national cancer charities being charged with swindling consumers out of $187 million in charitable donations. Today, two of those bogus charities — responsible for $75 million in bilked donations — have agreed to close up shop and provide refunds to donors.

[More]

Feds Sue Volkswagen For Deceptive “Clean Diesel” Advertising

Feds Sue Volkswagen For Deceptive “Clean Diesel” Advertising

We all know by now that Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” vehicles were anything but, and that the carmaker deliberately used so-called “defeat devices” to cheat on emissions tests. Now, in an effort to get compensation for people who purchased one of these dirty diesels, the Federal Trade Commission has sued VW, accusing the company of deceptive advertising. [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]

Group Accuses ‘Your Baby Can Read’ Creators Of Violating False Advertising Settlement With ‘Your Baby Can Learn’

Group Accuses ‘Your Baby Can Read’ Creators Of Violating False Advertising Settlement With ‘Your Baby Can Learn’

Nearly two years ago, the creators of the popular Your Baby Can Read! series of videos put an end to a Federal Trade Commission deceptive advertising complaint by agreeing to cease making unsubstantiated claims about any product that purports to teach kids how to read. But the advocacy group that first spurred the FTC into action says that the creators of this program are violating that 2014 deal. [More]

Mike Mozart and 
frankieleon

Staples, Office Depot, And FTC Make Opening Arguments In Merger Hearing

Today was the first day of the federal court hearing where Staples and Office Depot are making their cases about whether a proposed merger of the two companies would be beneficial to or terrible for consumers. Today, both sides made their opening arguments. The FTC is concerned about possible price hikes for consumers, and the two office supply companies are concerned that Amazon is going to crush them. [More]

(Byron Chin)

App Developers Warned: You Need To Tell Consumers First If You’re Going To Eavesdrop

Your phone has a microphone, and it listens — but not just when you’re making a call or practicing a second language on purpose. It listens whenever an app tells it to, and to whatever happens to be around you for it to hear. And if an app does that without telling you first, it could be in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission.

[More]