FTC Provides Comments to FCC on Protecting Children in Traditional and New Media Environments; FTC Approves Final Settlement Order Regarding The M Group, Inc., Doing Business As Bamboosa; FTC Approves Final Settlement Order Regarding Roaring Fork Valley

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FTC Provides Comments to FCC on Protecting Children in Traditional and New Media Environments

The Federal Trade Commission explains how it helps to keep children safe in both fast-changing online environments – from computers to game consoles to mobile phones – and the traditional media, through comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission.
The FTC’s written comments describe its authority to enforce laws that protect children in media environments; its recent studies examining how food, beverages, and entertainment are marketed to children; and its consumer education campaigns for parents, children, and educators about becoming media savvy. For example, the Commission recently released Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online, a booklet to help parents talk to children about Internet safety. The FTC also is developing a multimedia initiative designed to promote advertising literacy among tweens, along with a school curriculum.

The FTC comments are submitted in response to an FCC Notice of Inquiry titled Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape. As part of this inquiry, the FCC is collecting information so it can help parents to teach their children to take advantage of new media opportunities without accessing inappropriate content or making inappropriate contact with individuals while online.

According to the FTC’s comments, the agency’s recent studies all recommend that industry participants (and media companies involved in children’s marketing) engage in greater self-regulation to protect children. The comments also describe a recent FTC report on the incidence of sexually and violently explicit content in online virtual worlds and the report’s recommendations for reducing children’s risk of exposure to explicit content in these worlds.

The comments are available now on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release. The Commission vote to submit the comments to the FCC was 4-0. (FTC File No. V100006; the staff contact is Michael Wroblewski, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2435.)

FTC Approves Final Settlement Order Regarding The M Group, Inc., Doing Business As Bamboosa

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final settlement order in the matter of The M Group, Inc., d/b/a Bamboosa, and sent letters to members of the public who submitted comments on the order. The final order settles charges that the company and its principals violated the FTC Act by falsely claiming that their textile products were made of bamboo fiber, retained the natural antimicrobial properties of the bamboo plant, and were biodegradable. The order also settles FTC charges that The M Group and its principals violated the Textile Act and Rules by labeling and advertising those products as bamboo, rather than as rayon.

The FTC vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC Docket No. D09340; the staff contact is Korin Ewing, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3556. See press release dated October 22, 2009, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/bamboosa.shtm and reporter resource page at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/reporter/greengds.shtm.)

FTC Approves Final Settlement Order Regarding Roaring Fork Valley Physicians I.P.A.

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final settlement order in the matter of Roaring Fork Valley Physicians I.P.A., Inc., and sent letters to members of the public who submitted comments on the order. The final order settles charges that the company violated the FTC Act by orchestrating agreements among its members to set higher prices for medical services and refusing to deal with insurers that did not meet its demands for higher rates. Under the settlement, Roaring Fork will halt its use of these allegedly anticompetitive negotiating tactics against health insurers.

The FTC vote approving the final order was 4-0. (FTC Docket No. 061-0172; the staff contact is Saralisa Brau, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2774. See press release dated Feb. 3, 2010, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/02/roaringfork.shtm.)

FTC Approves Final Settlement Order with Richard Stanton

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final settlement order in the matter of Richard Stanton, the founder and former CEO of security certification company ControlScan. The final order settles charges that Stanton, through his company, violated the FTC Act by making misleading statements about how often the company monitored the Web sites that displayed their privacy and security seals, and the steps they took to verify the sites’ privacy and security practices.

The FTC vote approving the final order was 4-0, with Commissioner Edith Ramirez not participating. The FTC previously announced a settlement with ControlScan. The final order in that case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and entered by the court on March 5, 2010. (FTC Docket No. 4287; the staff contact is Laura Berger, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2471. See press release dated February 10, 2010, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/02/controlscan.shtm; see also http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/0723165/100225controlscanstip.pdf)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 15.2010.wpd)

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