About the Region
William H. Efron, Director
Deborah Marrone, Assistant Director
The Northeast Region handles both antitrust and consumer protection matters. The Region works to enforce the federal antitrust laws through merger and anticompetitive conduct investigations and litigation across an array of industries. The office also stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by conducting investigations, bringing law enforcement actions, building state and local partnerships, and educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.
Headquartered in New York City, this regional office serves the residents of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Notable Cases and Outreach
The Northeast Region (NER) works to enforce the federal antitrust laws through merger and anticompetitive conduct investigations and litigation across an array of industries. NER has scored a number of key victories to preserve competition in the health care industry, including successfully litigating the Commission’s challenge to the proposed $2.4 billion merger of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Pinnacle Health System. The proposed merger would have combined the two largest hospital systems and substantially reduced competition in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. NER secured a preliminary injunction blocking the merger, and a Third Circuit Court of Appeals opinion validated the Commission’s approach to analyzing hospital mergers.
NER also obtained a settlement resolving charges that Cardinal Health illegally monopolized 25 radiopharmaceutical markets across the U.S., and forced hospitals and clinics to pay inflated prices for these drugs. The office obtained a federal court order granting both injunctive relief and the disgorgement of $26.8 million in alleged ill-gotten gains. In addition, NER prevailed in its administrative trial against North Texas Specialty Physicians, which resulted in findings upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that the group of 600 independent physicians had conspired to fix prices in the Fort Worth area.
The Northeast Region (NER) investigates and litigates matters involving a broad range of deceptive, unfair, and fraudulent practices in the marketplace. NER has successfully resolved numerous cases involving business coaching or business opportunity schemes. In The Tax Club, NER, together with the Attorneys General of New York and Florida, sued a group of defendants that allegedly offered bogus business development services to thousands of consumers hoping to start home-based internet businesses, resulting in over $18 million in refunds for consumers. As a result of the NER’s federal court settlements in a number of other business coaching cases, including Top Shelf, Guidance, Thrive Learning, and ITT, the respective defendants were banned from selling business coaching services and work-at-home opportunities, and approximately $4.4 million was returned to consumers.
NER has also brought enforcement actions against internet merchants that deceptively marketed products through poorly disclosed negative options, as well as entities that enabled these merchants to perpetuate such frauds. For example, in the LeanSpa case, filed jointly with the Connecticut Attorney General’s office, NER obtained a settlement against the company’s alleged deceptive marketing and sale of weight loss products, resulting in the return of $3.7 million to consumers. NER also obtained a summary judgment decision against LeadClick, LeanSpa’s main affiliate marketing network. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision holding LeadClick liable for participating in the deceptive advertising of its member marketers. The decision was the first by a court of appeals holding the operator of an affiliate marketing network liable for deception by third-party marketers.
The Northeast Region (NER) has fostered and strengthened partnerships with its state and local partners through both law enforcement actions and outreach. NER has brought numerous cases with state attorneys general as co-plaintiffs, including Hershey/Pinnacle, The Tax Club, LeanSpa, and 4 Star Resolution LLC. In addition, NER has worked with numerous state and local partners to educate consumers and businesses. For example, NER has sponsored Ethnic Media Briefing events in New York City and Boston where NER, together with representatives from state attorneys general offices, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), other law enforcement agencies, and legal services organizations, discussed spotting and avoiding scams with the media and community advocates. NER also conducts extensive outreach to older adults, highlighting the FTC’s “Pass it On” campaign. NER also provides guidance to small businesses by, for example, partnering with the BBB serving Metropolitan NY to produce a webinar for small businesses, and working with the Small Business Administration and local Chambers of Commerce to disseminate the FTC’s consumer tips and warnings. NER also frequently participates in events sponsored by state bar associations and legal education organizations, speaking on both competition and consumer protection topics, including the FTC’s antitrust enforcement activities, privacy and data security, and advertising.
Have a consumer complaint? You can report it:
|By phone (toll free):
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time
Monday through Friday
Consumer Response Center
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington DC 20580