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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

WW International (f/k/a Weight Watchers) seems to be doing children a service: the company developed an online program tailored to address childhood weight issues.  The program, offered by WW subsidiary Kurbo, has an app, youthful professional coaches, and many features that look promising both to attract and to retain program young subscribers. Plus, the program touts peer-reviewed published research demonstrating its success.  With some 20 percent of children in the U.S. considered obese (and that statistic pre-dates COVID), programs that help to address this pervasive health problem are needed and welcomed by many parents and medical professionals. So why is the government going after WW and Kurbo?  It comes down to privacy.  The Federal Trade Commission recently entered a settlement with WW International, Inc., and its subsidiary Kurbo, Inc., over allegations that the Kurbo program violated federal children’s privacy law because it did not properly vet children under 13, provide notice and obtain consent from these children’s parents, or properly notify parents of Kurbo’s data collection practices. While there... Read more

 As covered in this blog, in most states, companies that offer sweepstakes entries with certain purchases must also allow free entry (often called “alternative means of entry” or “AMOE”). This requirement stems from the three elements that generally make up regulated gambling: (1) consideration, (2) prize, and (3) chance. Random-chance giveaways inherently meet the latter… Read More

  Most states require that companies offering sweepstakes allow entry without requiring purchase or other consideration. This alternate means of entry, or “AMOE,” avoids liability under gambling and lottery statutes by removing the “consideration” element in state gambling and lottery laws. A recent decision in California federal court has shed new light on how sweepstakes… Read More

Law Firms Champing at the Bit(coin)
December 10, 2021

Law Firms Champing at the Bit(coin)

By: James Trusty

Cryptocurrencies, such as the industry leaders Bitcoin and Ethereum, appear to be on the slow march towards popular acceptance as legitimate means of payment. As evidence of both legitimacy and the sluggishness of acceptance, several Bar Associations have weighed in with opinions on the ability of lawyers to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for legal services…. Read More

Does your company or its affiliate advertisers use celebrities or influencers  to market your services? Do you use customer reviews to promote your offerings? The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), energized by new Chairperson Lina Khan, just sent out notices to over 700 companies – including many household names (https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/penalty-offenses-concerning-endorsements/list-recipients-endorsement-notice.pdf)  warning them about using fake reviews… Read More

Last October, we reported on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie, Inc., in which the appeals court overturned a trial court’s decision ordering $448 million in disgorgement pursuant to Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Act against a group of businesses accused of trying to monopolize… Read More

As previously reported in this space, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument in its upcoming term regarding whether the Federal Trade Commission was authorized to seek monetary relief such as disgorgement or restitution under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act.  These cases do not just call into question the availability of a certain… Read More

In the latest blow to businesses seeking to offer digital tokens or cryptocurrencies to consumers, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on Wednesday that Kik Interactive Inc.’s offering of its Kin digital token violated Section 5 of the federal Securities Act, granting summary judgment to the Securities and… Read More

In the eyes of federal investigators, when is a payment processor considered a benevolent alternative to traditional banks, and when is it viewed as a shady facilitator of all things criminal?  In other words, is the client another Paypal or Venmo, or are we looking at a potential WireCard AG prosecution? We have noticed in… Read More

The privacy world is abuzz about the European Court of Justice’s July 16, 2020 decision in Schrems II: Europe’s highest court invalidated the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. The Privacy Shield provides a streamlined mechanism to facilitate personal data transfers from Europe to the U.S. It was implemented in 2016 following the invalidation of an earlier… Read More