Tag Archives: FTC

Ninth Circuit Grants FTC Request for Rehearing En Banc of AT&T Throttling Case, Setting Aside Earlier Opinion

On May 9, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an order granting a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) request for rehearing en banc of the court’s earlier decision to dismiss an FTC case against AT&T Mobility over allegedly “unfair and deceptive” throttling practices in connection with wireless data services provided to AT&T’s customers … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Two Telemarketing Cases

On January 13, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it filed two lawsuits against more than a dozen individual and corporate defendants allegedly coordinated by two individuals.  In the complaints, the FTC alleges multiple violations of the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).  Specifically, the complaints allege that over a period several years, the … Continue Reading

Citing an “Enforcement Gap,” FTC Seeks Rehearing En Banc of Dismissal of AT&T “Throttling” Case

On October 13, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit requesting a rehearing en banc of the court’s decision in the FTC’s case against AT&T alleging that the company dramatically reduced – or “throttled” – data speeds for certain customers on unlimited data … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Outlines Proposal for New Broadband Privacy Rules

On October 6, 2016, Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Tom Wheeler published a blog entry on the Commission’s website outlining proposed privacy rules for broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The proposed rules are scheduled to be considered by the full Commission at its monthly meeting on October 27, 2016. These rules come after … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision in AT&T “Throttling” Case May Reset Boundaries Between FTC and FCC Jurisdiction

On Monday, August 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may dramatically alter the boundaries between the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority over phone companies, broadband providers, and other common carriers.  The Ninth Circuit dismissed a case that the FTC brought against AT&T over its … Continue Reading

FCC and FTC Reach Consumer Protection Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Agencies Promise Cooperation, Express Shared Jurisdiction over Carrier Activities

On November 16, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which the two agencies agreed to engage in greater coordination and collaboration on consumer protection issues, with greater respect for each agency’s jurisdiction. The MOU comes at a time when both agencies are … Continue Reading

“Throttled” Motion to Dismiss; FTC Case Against AT&T for “Unlimited” Data Promises Continues

On March 31st, a federal judge in California District Court issued an Order denying AT&T’s motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) lawsuit against the company concerning its advertising and business practices for its mobile wireless data plans.  This case presented an increasingly common question concerning the dividing line between jurisdiction of the FTC and … Continue Reading

FCC Wades Back Into Cramming Issue

 In a move that appears aimed to maximize options for new Chairman Tom Wheeler when he assumes office, the FCC turned its attention again to its rules to address unauthorized charges on telephone bills, known colloquially as "cramming."  The FCC is asking parties to refresh the record in its docket considering rules for landline and … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Privacy and Security of Information Stored on Mobile Phones and Other Devices

Days before tomorrow’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Workshop on Mobile Disclosures, the FCC weighed in with a pair of releases on privacy and security issues raised by mobile devices.  In the first item released on Friday, the FCC is seeking to refresh its record regarding the privacy and data security practices of mobile wireless service … Continue Reading

Prepaid Card Provider Settles Failure to Disclose Action for $2.3 Million

In 2011, the FCC was extremely active in the prepaid calling card area, proposing $25 million in fines and investigating several other prepaid card providers.  While the FCC has exclusive jurisdiction over prepaid cards when provided by common carriers, the Federal Trade Commission also has jurisdiction over non-carrier marketers of prepaid calling cards.  This case … Continue Reading

Rules Against Caller ID Spoofing to Tighten

Two developments last month portend a more difficult time for entities "spoofing" caller ID information.  On December 22, President Obama signed into law the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 [sic], which makes it unlawful for a person to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with an intent to defraud.  In addition, the … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks to Bring Telecom Carriers within the Scope of New Data Security and Data Breach Legislation

This entry was drafted by Telecom Partner John Heitmann Yesterday, the FTC testified before a Senate Subcommittee and recommended that proposed data security legislation introduced by Senators Pryor (D., AR) and Rockefeller (D., WV) (The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010, S.3742) be modified so that its requirements and the FTC’s enforcement authority … Continue Reading

Enforcement Alert: Prepaid Card Marketing Investigations Opened

  Late last week, the FCC sent inquiry letters to a number of prepaid calling card providers concerning their marketing practices.  This action represents the first significant entry by the FCC into prepaid calling card marketing practices.  Prior to this action, prepaid card enforcement activities have been conducted in private litigation brought by a large … Continue Reading

Hearing on Calling Card Consumer Protection Bill Today

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, will hold a hearing today on the "Calling Card Consumer Protection Act of 2009" (HR 3993).  The bill would require prepaid calling card providers and their distributors to disclose all applicable rates and other terms and conditions to consumers.  The FTC would be … Continue Reading

FTC Red Flag Rule Effective Date Set for November 1

The enforcement date for the FTC "Red Flag Rule" to prevent identity theft  has been extended until November 1, 2009 in order to give businesses more time to understand the rule and take steps to comply.  The rule applies to any entity under FTC jurisdiction that is a "creditor" or "financial institution" and which maintains … Continue Reading

FTC BringsThird Prepaid Card Case This Year

The Federal Trade Commission has sued Diamond Phone Card and two individuals for allegedly(1) misrepresenting the number of minutes provided by the cards and (2) failing to disclose adequately the effect of fees on the number of minutes available.  Federal Trade Commission v. Diamond Phone Card, Inc. (U.S.E.D.N.Y. No. 09-3257).  The Complaint asks for a permanent … Continue Reading

Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Advertising Trends and Consumer Protection

On July 22, 2009, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance held a hearing on advertising trends and consumer protection. David Vladeck, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection testified before the Subcommittee, as well as various industry and consumer advocacy representatives.  The hearing … Continue Reading

Card Distributors Agree to Pay $2.25 Million as Part of FTC Crackdown on Fraud in the Prepaid Calling Card Industry

Major prepaid calling card distributors have agreed to pay $2.25 million as part of a settlement to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that they made false claims to consumers about the number of minutes of talk time their prepaid calling cards would provide. The companies targeted their advertising at recent immigrants, who the FTC said … Continue Reading
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