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]
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’
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]
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]
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.
If you’re getting paid to chat up a product or brand on social media, you need to disclose your relationship with what you’re shilling. That’s why retailer Lord & Taylor ended up in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission after paying high-profile Instagram accounts to secretly market their clothing without revealing that these were just ads. [More]
Nearly two years ago nutritional company Herbalife revealed that it was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission for its often controversial business practices, or what some people claim is a pyramid scheme. Now, it looks like the company is ready to put the federal probe behind it. [More]
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]
When you respond to an ad promising untold wealth if you start an at-home business, someone in a call center will contact you and try to extract your credit or debit card number. There needs to be a credit card processing company involved to run that transaction, though, and the company that did so for the Tax Club work-at-home scam operation has now settled up with the Federal Trade Commission for its role in the scam. [More]