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Rent-A-Center, Inc., In the Matter of

Rent-to-own operators Aaron’s Inc., Buddy’s Newco, LLC, and Rent-A-Center, Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that they negotiated and executed reciprocal purchase agreements in violation of federal antitrust law. The complaints allege that from June 2015 to May 2018, Aaron’s, Buddy’s, and Rent-A-Center each entered into anticompetitive reciprocal agreements with each other and other competitors. The three proposed consent agreements prohibited the rent-to-own companies and their franchisees from entering into any reciprocal purchase agreement or inviting others to do so, and from enforcing the non-compete clauses still in effect from the past reciprocal purchase agreements. After a public comment period, the Commission announced the final consent agreements.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
191 0074
Case Status
Pending

Aaron's Inc., In the Matter of

Rent-to-own operators Aaron’s Inc., Buddy’s Newco, LLC, and Rent-A-Center, Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that they negotiated and executed reciprocal purchase agreements in violation of federal antitrust law. The complaints allege that from June 2015 to May 2018, Aaron’s, Buddy’s, and Rent-A-Center each entered into anticompetitive reciprocal agreements with each other and other competitors. The three proposed consent agreements prohibited the rent-to-own companies and their franchisees from entering into any reciprocal purchase agreement or inviting others to do so, and from enforcing the non-compete clauses still in effect from the past reciprocal purchase agreements. After a public comment period, the Commission announced the final consent agreements.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
191 0074
Case Status
Pending

Manhattan Beach Venture, LLC, et al.

The Federal Trade Commission charged the operators of two similar student loan debt relief schemes, Manhattan Beach Ventures and Student Advocates Team, and a financing company that assisted them, Equitable Acceptance Corporation, with bilking millions of dollars from consumers.

In May 2021, the FTC sent payments totaling more than $273,500 to consumers who lost money to the student loan debt relief scheme.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
172 3041
Case Status
Pending

Student Advocates Team, LLC, et al.

In September 2019, the FTC announced a complaint against the operators of two student loan debt relief schemes, and a financing company that assisted them, with bilking millions of dollars from consumers. The FTC alleged Manhattan Beach Ventures and Equitable Acceptance Corporation and Student Advocates Team, and the financing company that assisted them illegally charged upfront fees that the companies led consumers to believe went towards their student loans, and falsely promised that their services would permanently lower or even eliminate their loan payments or balances.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
172 3036
Case Status
Pending

Commerce Planet, Inc., a corporation, et al.

The FTC is mailing 53,595 refund checks totaling $748,070 to consumers nationwide who signed up for an online auction kit that was supposed to be free, but wasn’t. The kit actually cost consumers up to $59.95 per month if they failed to cancel a trial membership in a business opportunity program called Online Supplier.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
072 3129