Federal Trade Commission

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Feds Sue to Block a Big Shaving Merger

Schick is trying to buy Harry's

(Newser) - Federal antitrust regulators say a proposed merger that would combine old-school shaving company Schick with upstart Harry's would end up costing consumers some skin. The Federal Trade Commission on Monday sued to block Edgewell Personal Care Co.'s $1.37 billion acquisition of Harry's, which was supposed... More »

The FTC Is Probing Juul

Specifically, the vaping company's marketing practices, reports the 'Wall Street Journal'

(Newser) - Juul has long been blamed for contributing to a rise in teen vaping—from 2017 to 2018, the habit jumped 78%—and now the e-cigarette company is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, according to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal . The FTC is reportedly attempting to... More »

Facebook Hit With Biggest FTC Fine Ever for Tech Firm

Company slammed with $5B penalty over privacy; Zuckerberg escapes serious personal liability

(Newser) - Federal regulators have fined Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations and are instituting new oversight and restrictions on its business—but they're only holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible in a limited fashion. The fine is the largest the Federal Trade Commission has levied on a tech company, though... More »

Love Seekers Lost $143M to Scammers in 2018: FTC

That's more than any other type of consumer fraud found by the agency last year

(Newser) - If you wanted the Federal Trade Commission's take on Valentine's Day, here it is: Beware of getting scammed seeking love online. The warning comes via the agency's latest revelation, which cites more than 21,000 reports of people getting swindled by internet "paramours" in 2018, NPR... More »

Sarah Palin Really Wants You to Drink This 'Skinny Tea'

But did she get paid as an 'influencer' to promote it on Instagram?

(Newser) - Move over, Beyonce and Dwayne Johnson : There's apparently a new Instagram influencer in town. That would be Sarah Palin, per CNN , who only showed up on the social media platform in October, yet already has more than 26,000 followers and has now taken to promoting a "skinny"... More »

Amazon Could Owe Parents More Than $70M

Company reaches deal with FTC over in-app purchases

(Newser) - If your child racked up purchases in the Amazon Appstore without your permission between 2011 and 2016, the company might owe you some money. The Federal Trade Commission and Amazon settled on a deal Tuesday in which the company will refund parents whose children made in-app purchases without their consent,... More »

FTC Is Now on Ashley Madison's Case

New CEO says they're 'truly sorry' for the site messing up people's lives

(Newser) - Two new executives at cheaters dating site Ashley Madison are offering up a mega-mea culpa for last year's hack -and- leak of user information, but that's likely not going to stem the flow of issues its parent company is now facing, including class-action lawsuits and an investigation by... More »

Staples to Pay Office Depot $250M Breakup Fee

Merger is off after judge's ruling

(Newser) - Staples and Office Depot are scrapping their planned $6.3 billion merger after a federal judge blocked the deal, saying the government had made the case that the combination would likely hurt competition in office supplies, reports the AP . The Federal Trade Commission had sought to block the merger of... More »

Feds Looking Into the University of Phoenix

Online college under the microscope by the FTC

(Newser) - The University of Phoenix, which runs an online college popular among military veterans, is under federal investigation for possible deceptive or unfair business practices, its parent company the Apollo Education Group told shareholders yesterday. In an SEC filing, the company disclosed that it had received a "civil investigative demand"... More »

Lawsuits: Firms Scamming Folks WIth Student Loans

Illinois attorney general warns consumers about 'predatory' offers

(Newser) - Debt-settlement companies have long targeted people saddled with mortgages or credit card debt, promising more manageable monthly payments, settlements, or even complete loan forgiveness—but now these companies are targeting individuals bogged down with student loans, reports the New York Times . And these companies' tactics may not be on the... More »

The FTC Has Gotten 2K Complaints About Yelp

Site is locked in legal battle over users' anonymity

(Newser) - How much do some small businesses hate Yelp? So much that the Federal Trade Commission has gotten more than 2,046 complaints about the company since 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports. Most are from small businesses saying they've been hit with unfair or fraudulent reviews—sometimes right after... More »

Weight-Loss Companies Are Full Of It, Say Feds

One even used fake news sites to tout its products, says FTC

(Newser) - The Federal Trade Commission has settled fraud charges against four companies accused of selling products backed by dubious claims. Sensa Products, L'Occitane, HCG Diet Direct, and LeanSpa haven't admitted or denied wrongdoing, but will pay $34 million in refunds to customers, the New York Times reports. The move... More »

Under FTC's Microscope: Facebook Privacy, Again

Feds looking into proposed new rules

(Newser) - Two weeks after Facebook's privacy policies were given yet another edit, the feds are taking a closer look. The Federal Trade Commission is deciding whether the proposed policies violate a 2011 agreement that forces the social network to get the explicit consent of users before it dishes out their... More »

Time for Fine Print on Social Media Ads: FTC

The old advertising rules still apply

(Newser) - Just because an ad's on Twitter doesn't mean it can get away with being misleading. The FTC today unveiled new guidelines for social media advertising, saying that it must adhere to the same essential rules as traditional advertising. For instance, ads must make clear the fact that they... More »

Obama to Promote Edith Ramirez to Chair FTC

Move opens space for another Democrat on commission

(Newser) - President Obama will promote Federal Trade Commission member Edith Ramirez to chair the agency, a White House official tells Politico , opening the door for a third Democrat to join the commission. Ramirez has been at the FTC since 2010, and "has been instrumental in ensuring there is robust competition... More »

FTC Tightening Web Privacy Rules for Kids

Biggest revamp in decade requires more consent from parents

(Newser) - A lot has changed online since 1998, when the FTC set up a privacy protection law for children online—and the federal organization believes it's time for an update. New rules expected within weeks would require companies to get parental consent for a wider range of data collection on... More »

Complaints Surge Over Telemarketing

Illegal robocalls have customers fuming

(Newser) - Americans have had it up to here with telemarketers—particularly the robot variety. April saw 212,000 complaints about robocalls, up from just 65,000 in October 2010, the government says. Over the same span, complaints seeking a stop to telemarketers' calls rose from 71,000 to 182,000, the... More »

Critics Say Kids' Websites Gather Data Illegally

McDonald's, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network among those named

(Newser) - Are McDonald's, Nickelodeon, Subway, and other major companies illegally collecting data from children online? A group of 20 public interest groups believes so, and it has filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission to halt the behavior, reports the New York Times . The complaints assert that six popular websites,... More »

Google Whacked With Record $22.5M Privacy Fine

Firm used loophole to get past Safari privacy controls

(Newser) - Tracking Internet users who had a "do not track" privacy setting switched on has cost Google $22.5 million. The fine, the largest the Federal Trade Commission has ever levied against a company, came after investigators found that the search firm had bypassed privacy settings in Apple's Safari... More »

FTC Inquiry May Delay Facebook's Instagram Deal

Second-quarter date sounds 'terrifically optimistic,' anti-trust lawyer says

(Newser) - Facebook and Instagram aren't likely to finish tying the knot by the second quarter as they'd originally intended, because the Federal Trade Commission has launched a competition probe into the deal. Investigators are already collecting information from competitors like Google and Twitter, sources tell the Financial Times . Competition... More »

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