Every year the FTC brings hundreds of cases against individuals and companies for violating consumer protection and competition laws that the agency enforces. These cases can involve fraud, scams, identity theft, false advertising, privacy violations, anti-competitive behavior and more. The Legal Library has detailed information about cases we have brought in federal court or through our internal administrative process, called an adjudicative proceeding.
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson Regarding the Annual Regulatory Plan and Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda
The Federal Trade Commission is returning an additional $25 million to consumers who lost money to a business coaching scheme that used the names Coaching Department and Apply Knowledge, among others. These refunds are the result of the FTC’s settlements with the scheme’s ringleaders, the companies through which the scheme operated, and a payment processor who helped facilitate the scheme.
Inaugural Joint Statement between the European Commission, the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the United States Federal Trade Commission
Announced in June 2019 as part of a crackdown on illegal robocalls against operations around the country responsible for more than one billion calls, this court order contains provisions related to two sets of defendants: 1) the Lifewatch defendants, which includes Lifewatch, Inc., Evan Sirlin, and Mitchel May; and 2) the Roman defendants, which includes Safe Home Security, MedGuard Alert, Inc., and David Roman. The order permanently bans the Lifewatch defendants from telemarketing and prohibits them from misrepresenting the terms associated with the sale of any product or service. It also imposes a financial judgment of $25.3 million against Lifewatch and Sirlin. According to the FTC’s July 2015 complaint, filed jointly with the Florida Attorney General’s Office, since 2012 the defendants bombarded primarily elderly consumers with at least a billion unsolicited robocalls to pitch supposedly “free” medical alert systems. In December 2021, the FTC announce it was returning more than $1.8 million to defrauded consumers.
Joint venture NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC, and its member companies, DTE Energy Company and Enbridge Inc., settled Federal Trade Commission charges that the joint venture’s acquisition of an Ohio pipeline would likely harm competition to provide natural gas pipeline transportation in a three-county area that includes Toledo, Ohio. The complaint alleged that NEXUS’s purchase of Generation from North Coast Gas Transmission LLC (“North Coast”) and several other owners is anticompetitive due to a non-compete clause that keeps North Coast from competing to provide natural gas pipeline transportation, for three years after the acquisition closes, in parts of the Ohio counties of Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood. The 2019 consent agreement preserved competition by requiring the parties to eliminate the non-compete clause from the sales agreement. Also, absent prior Commission approval, Nexus, DTE, and Enbridge were barred from participating in a written or oral agreement that restricts competition between any of them and another provider of natural gas pipeline transportation in the Ohio counties of Lucas, Ottawa, and Wood. On Sept. 24, 2021, the FTC announced a petition from DTE to reopen and modify the 2019 order. The Commission announced approval of the order modification on November 24, 2021.
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan on Issuance of the Commission Statement Regarding the Criminal Referral and Partnership Process
Statement of Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Regarding Criminal Referral and Partnership Process
Oral Remarks of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson Regarding Criminal Referrals and Partnerships and Motion to Issue Commission Statement
The Federal Trade Commission has sued Facebook, alleging that the company is illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct. The complaint alleges that Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy—including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers—to eliminate threats to its monopoly. The Commission vote to authorize staff to file for a permanent injunction and other equitable relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was 3-2. Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson voted no.
Pharmaceutical and biologic manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Celgene Corporation agreed to divest Celgene’s Otezla, the most popular oral treatment in the United States for moderate-to-severe psoriasis, for $13.4 billion. The divestiture settled Federal Trade Commission charges that BMS’s proposed $74 billion acquisition of Celgene would violate federal antitrust law. Under the terms of the proposed consent order, the parties were required to divest Celgene’s worldwide Otezla business – including its regulatory approvals, intellectual property, contracts, and inventory – to Amgen, Inc. no later than 10 days after consummating the proposed acquisition. On Nov. 12, 2021, the Commission announced that it has approved certain modifications to Bristol Meyers Squibb’s divestiture agreements.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a proposed order imposing strict limits on future mergers by DaVita, Inc., a dialysis service provider with a history of fueling consolidation in life-saving health industries. The complaint alleged that DaVita’s proposed acquisition of the University of Utah Health’s dialysis clinics would reduce competition in vital outpatient dialysis services in the Provo, Utah market. Under the proposed order, DaVita is required to divest three Provo-area dialysis clinics to Sanderling Renal Services, Inc. and is prohibited from entering into or enforcing non-compete agreements and other employee restrictions.
7-Eleven, Inc. and Marathon Petroleum Corporation have agreed to divest retail fuel assets used to sell gasoline and diesel fuel in 293 local markets across 20 states, to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that 7-Eleven’s acquisition of Marathon’s Speedway subsidiary violated federal antitrust laws. The complaint alleges that the acquisition will harm competition for the retail sale of fuel in 293 local markets across Arizona; California; Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Massachusetts; Michigan; North Carolina; New Hampshire; Nevada; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Utah; Virginia, and West Virginia. In addition to the divestitures, the proposed order prohibits 7-Eleven from enforcing any noncompete provisions as to any franchisees or employees working at or doing business with the divested assets. On November 10, 2021, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.