What does it mean for a food to be labeled “whole grain”? Even if there is no official standard for that term, do you expect that a whole grain version of a product would be healthier than the original? [More]
Last week, Staples and Office Depot called off their proposed merger, which would have brought together the biggest and second-biggest office supply retailer into a single paperclip-selling Voltron. Instead, a federal judge granted a temporary injunction, and the companies called off the merger. Now the Federal Trade Commission is officially closing the case. [More]
Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission accused Napster co-founder, and creator of Jerk.com, John Fanning of pilfering data from Facebook accounts then charging people $30 each to manage their online reputations. A federal appeals court recently upheld most of the FTC’s ruling that Fanning deceived consumers about the source of the information contained on Jerk.com and the benefits of paying for membership. [More]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]