The Commission has authorized staff to file with the court to amend a previously issued complaint regarding the following: Verity International Ltd., et al. The FTC brought this complaint contending that Verity International was involved in illegally billing consumers in connection with the provision of adult "videotext" services. The amended complaint clarifies that it covers unfair and deceptive practices engaged in by the defendants prior to the direct billing that was the focus of the original complaint; adds Automatic Communications Limited, a Bahamian corporation, as a defendant; and charges that the defendants deceptively failed to disclose the cost of their "adult" entertainment services before providing access to, and billing for, such services. The Commission vote to approve the amended the complaint was 5-0. The court approved the amended complaint on February 27, 2001. (FTC File No. 002-3386; staff contact is Lawrence Hodaap, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3105; see press release dated October 5, 2000.)
A preliminary injunction issued in the matter of Federal Trade Commission and the People of the State of New York v. The Crescent Publishing Group, Inc., et al., by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan bars the defendants from conducting business on the Internet without first obtaining a $10 million bond that could be used "to satisfy any judgment entered against the defendants" following trial. The injunction also prevents the defendants from transferring assets to shareholders, officers and directors of their companies; requires repatriation of offshore funds; and requires clear and conspicuous disclosure of any charges for Web-based services. (FTC File No. 002-3001; Civil Action No. 00CVC6315(LAK); staff contact is C. Steven Baker, Midwest Regional Office, 312-960-5634; see press release dated August 23, 2000.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide.