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A Blog About FTC regulations and happenings

For-profit education needs rebranding. With the recent appointment of Michael Dakduk as key advisor to the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the sector has made a step in the right direction. The onslaught of negative news against for-profit educators has severely impacted industry growth. Recent reports on drops in enrollment (and thus earnings) at Bridgepoint Education, Inc.,Strayer Education, Inc., Education Management Corp. and Apollo Group Inc. demonstrate just how hard the sector has been hit. A central problem is for-profit education’s extreme unpopularity among government regulators – thanks, largely, to some bad actors overselling their programs and pressuring prospective students. Regulators both perceive and characterize for-profit educators as unscrupulous opportunists. Unfortunately for the industry, this is a characterization regulators like to broadcast to the public without much qualification. (Query: since when did it become okay for government representatives to lambast whole industries – and imperil jobs in those industries – for the actions of a few?).  Most recently, the FTC has launched a campaign to... Read more

A lawsuit filed in Massachusetts state court recently raised the issue of whether a former employee’s LinkedIn post announcing a new job could violate an anti-solicitation clause of a non-compete contract with the former employer. In KNF&T Inc. v. Muller, staffing company KNF&T filed suit against its former vice president, Charlotte Muller, for violating a… Read More

Last week, a federal judge in California declined to grant a summary judgment motion to LegalZoom.com, Inc., in its lawsuit accusing rival Rocket Lawyer, Inc. over claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and false and misleading advertising that focus on the use of the word “free” in advertisements by Rocket Lawyer. LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer… Read More

In September, 40 state attorneys general wrote to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking the agency to take all available measures to issue regulations on the advertising, ingredients, and sale to minors of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs. The full text of the letter is available here. The FDA has set… Read More

Google recently announced that it would be taking action to demote websites that profit from the use of mugshot photos. These mugshot sites compile booking photographs taken after people’s arrests and publish them along with the arrestees’ names and information concerning the charges against them. Individuals who want their mugshot and arrest record deleted from… Read More

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October 11, 2013

FTC Takes Tough Action Against ‘Scareware’ Tactics

By: Nicole Kardell

A great way to make money is to develop a product or service that responds to a consumer want or demand, and then to stay ahead of prospective competitors by offering better pricing or quality. A not-so-great way to make money is to convince consumers to buy a product or service that they don’t really… Read More

On October 3, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it had filed a complaint in federal district court in Washington state against a leading debt-settlement payment processor, Meracord LLC, and its CEO.  The CFPB contends that Meracord helped third parties collect millions of dollars in illegal upfront fees from consumers. The complaint alleged violations… Read More

It’s quite clear that the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission view existing federal consumer protection and communications statutes as fully applicable to new modes of communication such as texting. One excellent recent example is the FTC’s stipulated settlement, including a payment of $1 million, with a debt collection agency that had sent… Read More

A company that markets video cameras that are designed to allow consumers to monitor their homes remotely has agreed to settle charges with the FTC that it failed to properly protect consumers’ privacy. This marks the FTC’s first enforcement action against a marketer of a product with connectivity to the Internet and other mobile devices,… Read More

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently ruled that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not violate the First Amendment by requiring robocallers to identify themselves when making calls. Three months before the Maryland gubernatorial election in 2010, political consultant Julius Henson and his company Universal Elections, Inc., were hired to… Read More

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