For Your Information: February 6, 1998
The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following action.
Consent agreements given final approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has made final a consent agreement with the following entity. The Commission action makes the consent order binding on the respondent.
- The Commission's consent order with Beylen Telecom Ltd. of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands; NiteLine Media, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York; and Ron Tan (also known as Roeun Tan), an officer of NiteLine Media, settles charges that the companies' falsely advertised that using their special "viewer" would be "free." In addition, the FTC alleged that the companies' computer program surreptitiously disconnected consumers from their local Internet service provider and reconnected their computer modems to the Internet through an international telephone call, all without their knowledge because the program also turned off their modem speakers so that they could not hear the disconnect or the dialing of the international number. The FTC alleged that Beylen Telecom Ltd. provided the "viewer" software and other "means and instrumentalities" to defraud consumers. The FTC also alleged that both companies caused consumers to pay inflated phone rates to Moldova when their calls actually connected to Canada. The proposed settlement includes the payment of redress funds to AT&T and MCI, which will issue credits to their customers who were billed for the calls, and to the FTC, which will issue refunds to customers of other long-distance carriers who were billed for the calls. (See news release dated November 4, 1997; Docket No. 972 3128. The Commission vote to approve the consent order as final was 3-0, with Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson and Commissioner Orson Swindle not participating. Staff contact is Paul Luehr, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2236.)
Copies of the documents referenced above are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-3128; TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
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