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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

In a ruling announced today, the Supreme Court held that online businesses can be subjected to sales tax even in states where they do not have any brick-and-mortar operations. The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturns longstanding precedent requiring “physical presence” to subject a seller to state sales tax, representing a big change for e-commerce. In the opinion of the Court, Justice Kennedy gave careful consideration to precedents dating back a half-century that, in the absence of Congressional authorization, prohibited states to subject businesses to sales-tax requirements unless they had a “physical presence” in the state.  In so doing, he concluded that the rule “created an inefficient ‘online sales tax loophole’ that gives out-of-state businesses an advantage.” By favoring online businesses over local ones, the physical presence rule creates market distortions that disfavor states and state businesses. The Court justified its overruling of past precedent by focusing on the precipitous growth of e-commerce over the last few decades, which has fundamentally changed how commerce takes place in the U.S. and... Read more

  On June 6, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a landmark ruling in LabMD v. Federal Trade Commission. While the Eleventh Circuit impliedly held that the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has authority to take enforcement action against companies whose unfair practices lead to data security incidents that pose… Read More

A public service announcement of yesteryear posed the following question to parents: “It’s 8:00. Do you know where your children are?” Today’s technology allows parents to answer that question regardless of the time of day. That technology, however, has recently drawn scrutiny for violating the parental notice and consent provisions of the Federal Trade Commission’s… Read More

The FTC is reported to be joining state and international regulators in examining Cambridge Analytica’s actions with data accessed from Facebook, including how the data analytics company obtained the information, what it did with the information, and whether Facebook complied with existing obligations, including a 2012 FTC consent decree. The situation underscores the importance of… Read More

Full Metal Cryptojacket
February 28, 2018

Full Metal Cryptojacket

By: James Trusty

In retrospect, it all seems so predictable. International capitalism creates virtual currencies. Banks are avoided. Millennials hail a new world order of anonymous or nearly untraceable market transactions. Numerous parties and exchanges hold on to large quantities of virtual currencies. But then the bad guys show up. And I’m not talking about the regulators. Last month, in what looks like the… Read More

Coming Soon: Digital Asset Regulation
February 20, 2018

Coming Soon: Digital Asset Regulation

By: George Calhoun

In January, Bitcoin dropped to approximately 50% of its 2017 peak price.  Other digital currencies saw similar declines. Most market observers blamed these massive price fluctuations on related events: (i) widespread reports of fraud and price manipulation, and (ii) increasing prospects for the regulation of digital assets and currencies. Indeed, 2018 has brought us federal… Read More

The Extraordinary Reach of FTC Ex Parte
February 6, 2018

The Extraordinary Reach of FTC Ex Parte

By: Ifrah Law

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is granted extraordinary authority to participate in ex parte discussions with judges, conduct investigations and enact enforcement actions like asset freezes and TROs without notice to the parties it is targeting. Often the first time a company learns it is under investigation is when it is served a subpoena and… Read More

In a paradox of sorts, cryptocurrency’s continued survival may hinge on its submission to greater regulatory oversight. Such a notion is paradoxical in the sense that cryptocurrency’s origins can be traced to a “stick it to the man” mentality in which currency is decentralized and not tied to any one governmental body. Thus, submitting to… Read More

Assert Your FTC Defense Before It’s Too Late
February 1, 2018

Assert Your FTC Defense Before It’s Too Late

By: Ifrah Law

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is granted extraordinary authority to conduct investigations without giving notice to the companies in its sightlines, and the agency can enact sudden and unforeseen enforcement actions like asset freezes and TROs which take its targets completely by surprise. Often a company’s first clue it is under investigation is when it… Read More

2018: The End of Cryptocurrencies?
January 22, 2018

2018: The End of Cryptocurrencies?

By: Steven Eichorn

Cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) took the broader public by storm in 2017 and had a breakout year. There were outsized and even unprecedented returns, along with extreme volatility and even more extreme volatility.  The question for 2018 is whether cryptocurrencies had their “fifteen minutes of fame” or they are here to stay? Blockchain technology (which is… Read More

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