In her September 20, 2022 statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Chairwoman Lina Kahn emphasized the FTC’s continued work combating repair restrictions that allegedly harm consumers, explaining that the FTC is “prioritizing action against business practices that unlawfully restrict consumers’ ability to repair their products, costing them more over the long term.”[1]

Continue Reading Federal Trade Commission Focused on Right to Repair Restrictions

On August 9, the US District Court of Georgia ruled that the FTC had provided “broad and detailed evidence” for its allegations that a tech company and its CEO engaged in deceptive advertising and unfair fee practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The FTC’s 2019 complaint alleged the defendants made deceptive representations to customers and charged hidden, unauthorized fees in connection with the company’s “fuel card” as well as through co-branded cards, to companies in the trucking and commercial fleet industry. The FTC’s factual allegations include the following: 

Continue Reading Court Orders Injunctive Relief Against Tech Company for Deceptive Advertising, Unfair Fee Practices

On August 10, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule stating that digital marketing providers that are involved in the identification or selection of prospective customers or the selection or placement of content to affect consumer engagement including purchase or adoption behavior, are subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction. The rule ostensibly clarifies the scope of companies that are “service providers” under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) to include digital marketing providers, and thereby subjecting them to the CFPB’s authority to prohibit unfair, deceptive, abusive acts or practices (UDAAPs). 

Continue Reading CFPB’s New Interpretive Rule Sets Sights on Digital Marketing Vendors

Recently, Colorado’s new $0.27 retail delivery fee went into effect. The fee targets all deliveries by a motor vehicle that have at least one item of taxable and tangible personal property. This new levy impacts both in-state and out-of-state retailers, requiring those entities to register with the Colorado Dept. of Revenue and remit funds to the State.

Continue Reading Colorado’s Retail Delivery Fee

The group of chemicals known as PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are high on the federal regulatory agenda for 2022, as implementation of EPA’s “PFAS Strategic Roadmap” proceeds. One potential consequence will be new additions to California’s “Prop 65 List” of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm. Already, two PFAS substances are subject to Prop 65 warning and labeling requirements (PFOA and PFOS), with a third (PFNA) subject to enforcement starting in 2023. New federal Health Advisory Levels (HALs) announced on June 15, 2022 may provide the basis to add another two PFAS to the list (PFBS and GenX).

Continue Reading PFAS Regulations Could Open Floodgates to Prop 65 Enforcement – Assess & Manage Your Exposure Now

Some apparel, fabric and other goods just became more likely to get stuck at the border if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) suspects they contain cotton from Xinjiang or from companies on a recently published U.S. Government list, or otherwise involve forced labor — whether the brand is aware of it or not. 

Continue Reading Will U.S. Customs Seize Your Presumptively Illegal Apparel? Compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

If you are in the business of buying or selling pork-based products, then you have probably heard of California’s Proposition 12.  As it pertains to pork, the law requires that pig confinement systems are large enough to allow the animals to fully lie down, stand up, extend their limbs, and turn around freely.  We previously wrote about the importance and impact of this law, which went into effect starting January 1, 2022.  Recent developments have since put the law on pause and its future into question.
Continue Reading Sow What Now?: Cal. Hispanic Chambers of Commerce et. al. v. Ross et. al., The U.S. Supreme Court, and California’s Proposition 12

On March 22, the CFPB issued Compliance Bulletin 2022-05 regarding potentially illegal practices related to consumer reviews.  The guidance states that consumer reviews impact company revenue and help consumers choose between financial providers, which can in turn “incentivize dishonest market participants to attempt to manipulate the review process, rather than compete based on the value of their services, which can frustrate a competitive marketplace.”
Continue Reading CFPB Flexes UDAAP Muscle Over Contractual “Gag” Clauses and Fake Consumer Reviews

A New York federal court recently granted Apple a motion to dismiss a case where an alleged class accused Apple of misleading consumers about the waterproof nature of their iPhones. Apple had several allegedly misleading advertisements about their iPhones, with advertisements stating that the iPhone 11 is “water resistant up to 2 m for 30 min.” The court granted Apple’s motion to dismiss because the plaintiffs did not allege how they were harmed by Apple’s advertisements. Apple’s user manuals and warranties also disclaimed coverage for liquid damage. While the plaintiffs’ phones allegedly malfunctioned due to some amount of water contact, the court found that the plaintiffs failed to plead that their iPhones were damaged due to their reliance on the advertisements. Additionally, the plaintiffs failed to identify any warranty claiming that Apple’s products could withstand water damage.
Continue Reading The Latest Win for Apple: Dismissal of Class Action about iPhones