Four of the FTC's five commissioners believe Google illegally used its position as the top search provider to hurt competition, according to a report from Reuters, which cites people familiar with the matter.
And The New York Times cited its own unnamed sources in reporting that the commission is preparing a 100-page staff memo recommending that the government sue.
The FTC, which has been investigating the situation for more than a year, will … Read more
Regulators from five countries joined together in an operation to crack down on a series of companies they say orchestrated one of the most widespread Internet scams of the decade.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other international regulatory authorities today said they shut down a global criminal network that allegedly bilked tens of thousands of consumers by pretending to be tech support providers.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, speaking during a press conference with a Microsoft executive and regulators from Australia and Canada, said 14 companies and 17 individuals were targeted in the investigation. In the course of … Read more
Facebok worries that teens' right to freedom of expression will be inhibited if child privacy laws limit the ability of Web sites to incorporate the social network's "Like" button.
In a 20-page letter (PDF) sent to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission last week, Facebook objected to proposed revisions to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. The social network argues that revised limitations on plug-ins could create "significant impediments" on "innovation and the ecosystem that shapes students' online experiences":
This social functionality, widely used by educational sites and apps, is … Read more
Eight companies accused of spying on consumers via rented computers have agreed to settle charges that they broke the law and engaged in unfair business practices, the Federal Trade Commission announced.
The rent-to-own companies are accused of using a program called "Detective Mode" that pinpointed the whereabouts of computers via geolocation tracking software if consumers were late on payments.
The software also was used to log key strokes, capture screen shots and take photos with the webcam, and it displayed a fake software registration screen ostensibly from Microsoft or Yahoo that tricked customers into providing their personal contact … Read more
In an attempt to find out which ads lead to purchases, Facebook is partnering with Datalogix, a company that compiles consumer purchasing data from retail stores. But the move has privacy advocates asking federal regulators to scrutinize the deal.
Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told CNET today that he will ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the new Facebook-Datalogix deal and determine whether the business practice complies with the terms of a recent $9.5 million agreement Facebook reached with the FTC to settle privacy complaints.
"In light of the recent consent order with … Read more
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Eric Wheeler's bio below.
Let's start with the good news: Congress won't pass any laws this year to halt the collection of anonymous online user data for ad targeting purposes. But as a consensus on "Do Not Track" continues to elude industry leaders and consumer groups -- to date, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has yet to settle on a definition of what "Do Not Track" even means -- the current DNT chaos suggests that the specter of political action looms ever larger. That … Read more
Google will know by year's end whether it will face legal action over antitrust issues, according to a report.
The New York Times reports that Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, told reporters after a luncheon at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., that he hoped to resolve the inquiry into Google's search results and advertising practices within the next few months.
The FTC has been looking into Google's practices for more than a year now, amid claims the company unfairly privileges search results having to do with its products over those involving competitors' offerings. … Read more
South Korea's competition watchdog is launching an investigation into Samsung's practices.
The country's Fair Trade Commission today announced that it would investigate the ways in which Samsung is using its wireless technology patents to address competition in the marketplace. Reuters, first to report the news, said an FTC official claimed Apple filed the complaints against Samsung earlier this year, arguing that Samsung is using its patents to hurt competition.
There is certainly no love lost between Apple and Samsung. The companies are waging patent disputes worldwide, and last month Apple won a major victory in San Jose, … Read more
People who've received unwanted sales calls from Dish Network may yet get some satisfaction.
The company is the target of a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission alleging that it made sales calls to millions of consumers even though they had asked not to be called again.
The calls reportedly violated the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule. According to that rule, a telemarketer cannot call someone who has asked to be taken off the company's call list, even if the person is not registered with the National Do Not Call list.
The FTC's lawsuit alleges that Dish … Read more