FTC Blogs

HSR threshold adjustments and reportability – 2015 edition

When Congress passed the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, it created minimum dollar thresholds to limit the burden of premerger reporting. In 2000, it amended the HSR statute to require the annual adjustment of these thresholds based on the change in gross national product. As a result, reportability under the Act changes from year to year as the statutory thresholds adjust. The PNO fields many questions about the upcoming adjustments to the HSR thresholds from parties whose transactions may take place around the time of the revisions. 

Spilling the beans: The anatomy of a diet craze

Some people call it the “Oz Effect” – the bump in consumer demand after a product or ingredient is featured on the The Dr. Oz Show. In a just-announced settlement, the FTC says defendants Lindsey Duncan, Pure Health LLC, and Genesis Today, Inc., took advantage of that phenomenon by deceptively touting the purported weight loss benefits of green coffee bean extract.

A weight loss fad “As Seen on TV”

Have you heard about green coffee bean extract? You might have seen seemingly trustworthy celebrities touting these “magic” weight loss pills on TV. Or maybe you saw ads online or displays in stores promoting green coffee bean extract — “As Seen on TV.” But if you spend your money on a product that promises miraculous weight loss without diet or exercise, the only thing you’ll lose is your money.

3 ways to use Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week to help people in your life

Looking for a practical way to help friends, family, and your community? We’ve got one: warn them about tax identity theft and IRS imposters. This week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week — and a good time to think about what you can do. Here are three ideas to get you started:

Testing, testing: A review session on COPPA and schools

We often get questions about how the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act applies in the school setting. The COPPA Rule gives parents control over what information “an operator of a Web site or online service” – yes, that includes apps – can collect from their kids under 13. Among other things, COPPA requires entities covered by the law to notify parents and get their approval before they collect, use, or disclose personal information from children.

Today’s news, tomorrow’s scam

When the headlines change, scammers follow: Natural disaster? Charity scams will follow. Medicare open season? Health care scams will follow. So we know from experience that, when immigration is in the headlines, scams will follow. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re in the immigration process – or would like to be – regardless of what’s in the news.

Time 2 txt about data security basics?

53 and it’s likely to go up. That’s the number of data security law enforcement actions the FTC has settled so far. The facts of each case are different, but distilled down to the basics, they stand for one central proposition: Your company’s data security measures should be reasonable and appropriate in light of the sensitivity and amount of consumer information you have, the size and complexity of your business, and the availability and cost of tools to improve security and reduce vulnerabilities.

Get ready for National Consumer Protection Week!

It’s about that time again. Are you ready?Every year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), encourages people and businesses to learn more about avoiding scams and understanding consumer rights. This year, NCPW takes place March 1-7, 2015. NCPW highlights free resources from government agencies and consumer organizations to help people make smarter buying decisions and spot rip-offs.

FTC racks up charges against unscrupulous debt collector

If you’re behind in paying your bills, you may be contacted by a debt collector, but that doesn’t mean a collector can treat you unfairly. Under federal law, debt collectors — including collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis, and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them — can’t use abusive, deceptive or unfair practices to collect from you. But not all debt collectors play by the rules.

The Dish Network case: The latest fed-state call for Do Not Call compliance

57,606,609. That’s the staggering number of illegal telemarketing calls a federal judge in Illinois has ruled that satellite TV company Dish Network is liable for. The Order granting partial summary judgment against Dish is the latest development in an ongoing case filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC and in cooperation with four states – California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio.