Federal Trade Commission

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Undisclosed Algorithm Helped Amazon Raise Prices: FTC

Company says 'Project Nessie' is misunderstood

(Newser) - Amazon relied on an undisclosed algorithm to help it increase what it charged buyers without risking the company ending up alone at higher price points, a government lawsuit says—the idea was to pull competitors along. "Project Nessie" helped Amazon leverage its market clout, the Federal Trade Commission's...

Microsoft's $69B Activision Deal Gets a Breather

Deadline to close acquisition with game maker is extended until Oct. 18

(Newser) - The deadline for Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard has been extended as the companies seek to close a deal that has been vexed by US regulators, as well as by UK's Competition and Markets Authority. Microsoft believes that pushing back the deadline to...

Judge Rejects FTC Move to Halt $69B Microsoft-Activision Deal

With clock ticking to get the deal closed, court hands Microsoft a major victory

(Newser) - A federal judge has handed Microsoft a major victory by declining to block its looming $69 billion takeover of video game company Activision Blizzard. US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said in a ruling that the Federal Trade Commission "has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its...

FTC Wants a Steep Crackdown on Phony Online Reviews

Proposed new rules include steep fines

(Newser) - The Federal Trade Commission says it wants to "level the playing field for honest companies" with a crackdown on fake online reviews. The FTC has proposed new rules that include heavy penalties for companies using dodgy reviews to boost their products, the Washington Post reports. Offenders could be fined...

FTC: 'Manipulative' Amazon Tricked Millions Into Prime

Company 'knowingly complicated the cancellation process,' to boot, agency says

(Newser) - The FTC isn't letting up on Amazon , alleging in a new lawsuit that the world's largest online retailer knowingly tricked "millions of consumers" into signing up for its paid Prime service, then made them jump through hoops in order to cancel . The company "trapped people into...

FTC Sues to Block Microsoft's $69B Activision Takeover
FTC Sues to Block
Massive Tech Deal

FTC Sues to Block Massive Tech Deal

Agency seeks injunction to stop Microsoft's $69B Activision takeover

(Newser) - The Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Microsoft from completing its deal to buy video game company Activision Blizzard, the latest antitrust challenge to the proposed merger but one that could hasten its conclusion. The FTC's Monday filing in a federal court in San Francisco seeks a restraining...

FTC Warns of 'Terrifying' Phone Scam Driven by AI

Agency says voice cloning can make caller sound like a loved one begging for money

(Newser) - Many of us have heard of the old hoax in which victims receive phone calls from "police" or a "doctor" (actually scammers) saying that a loved one is in trouble and needs money sent stat. Now, in what NPR says "sounds like a plot from a science...

Egg Producers' 'Egregious Profits' Raising Some Eyebrows

Farm Action wants Cal-Maine investigated over possible price gouging

(Newser) - A US senator has joined farmers in calling for an investigation to crack the problem of soaring egg prices . Government data shows the national average retail price for a dozen eggs reached $4.25 in December, for a 138% increase from the $1.79 average a year earlier, though the...

'Pharma Bro' Is Making Headlines Again

FTC wants Martin Shkreli held in contempt for impeding probe into ban on working in industry

(Newser) - It's been awhile since Martin Shkreli dominated the headlines, but he appears to be making somewhat of a comeback after his release from prison last year. In January 2022, the former pharmaceuticals executive deemed "Pharma Bro" by the media was ordered by a federal judge to return nearly...

Security, Compliance Executives Quit Twitter

FTC warns company, which risks violating consent decree

(Newser) - Federal regulators expressed alarm Thursday after several privacy and security executives resigned from Twitter. Those leaving include the chief information security officer, chief privacy officer, and chief compliance officer, the Washington Post reports. The news was met with a warning from the Federal Trade Commission, which said it could take...

FTC Sues Over Data That Could Track Users' Movements

Kochava says it's already enacted privacy measures

(Newser) - A government lawsuit accuses a data broker of selling geolocation information pulled from millions of mobile devices that could be used to track people seeking abortions. The Federal Trade Commission suit, filed Monday, calls for Kochava to stop the sales and delete data it's already collected about users' movements,...

FTC: Pro-Trump Firm's 'Made in USA' Apparel Made in China

Agency fines Lions Not Sheep, owner $200K for phony labels

(Newser) - If you're going to put "Made in USA" labels on your products, you'd better make sure they're actually made in the USA. That's the message the Federal Trade Commission hopes to convey to one pro-Donald Trump apparel company that it just fined more than $200,...

FTC Sues Intuit: Stop Saying TurboTax Is Free

FTC says ads mislead consumers

(Newser) - The Federal Trade Commission is suing TurboTax maker Intuit, saying its ads for “free” tax filing misled consumers, the AP reports. Intuit says it will fight the suit. The consumer protection agency said Tuesday that millions of consumers cannot actually use the free tax-prep software option—two-thirds of tax...

FTC Orders Walmart, Amazon to Explain 'Sky-High Prices'

9 companies asked to turn over information on supply chain woes

(Newser) - Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger will have 45 days to answer to the Federal Trade Commission for their "empty shelves and sky-high prices." With the holiday shopping season now underway, the FTC has ordered nine large retailers, wholesalers, and suppliers including Procter & Gamble Co., Tyson Foods, Kraft Heinz...

Biden Questions Oil Companies' Math
Biden Questions
Oil Companies' Math

Biden Questions Oil Companies' Math

President wants investigation into why pump prices are up when costs are down

(Newser) - President Biden wonders why the cost of producing gasoline is dropping while prices at the pump are rising. Maybe "illegal conduct" is to blame, he wrote the chair of the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday, asking Lina Khan to investigate oil and gas companies and "bring all of...

Broken Hearts, Empty Wallets: Seniors Catfished for $139M

FTC report says there was a 'surge' in 2020 in romance scams bamboozling Americans 60 and over

(Newser) - Last month, the Department of Justice announced money laundering and wire fraud charges brought against nearly a dozen "romance scammers," and that's only scratching the surface of what the Washington Post calls a "surge" in such deceptions made worse by the pandemic, especially for the senior...

Slain Journalist's Dad Blasts Facebook's Murder Videos

Alison Parker's parents file FTC complaint, appeal to Congress for removal of footage of her killing

(Newser) - The family of a journalist killed during a live news report in Virginia in 2015 is asking the Federal Trade Commission to take action against Facebook, which hosts footage of her murder. Videos of the killing of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward regularly appear on Facebook and...

FTC Is Investigating McFlurry Machines

Company accuses manufacturer of 'multimillion-dollar repair racket'

(Newser) - McDonald's notoriously finicky McFlurry machines may be in violation of antitrust law, Gizmodo reports, based on a new investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency is investigating why the machines so often fail amid a legal fight between the manufacturer, which has a monopoly on repairs, and a...

How MoviePass Tried to Keep Users From Seeing Movies

FTC outlines deceptive practices after offer of unlimited movies

(Newser) - MoviePass promised unlimited movie tickets for $9.95 a month, but the result was altogether different. Executives made it very difficult for people to actually use the service, forcing password resets, installing surprise limits on accounts, and exposing personal data, according to the FTC . "MoviePass and its executives went...

Want to Cancel Amazon Prime? Prepare for an 'Ordeal'
Want to Cancel Amazon Prime?
Prepare for an 'Ordeal'
in case you missed it

Want to Cancel Amazon Prime? Prepare for an 'Ordeal'

Watchdog groups challenge cancellation policy

(Newser) - Consumer watchdogs in the US and Europe have filed complaints against Amazon, claiming the company makes it too difficult to cancel Prime membership. A report from the Norwegian Consumer Council finds a "deliberate attempt to confuse and frustrate customers" looking to cancel the streaming service that also comes with...

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