FTC

FTC hits back; Google investigation integrity questioned again

FTC hits back; Google investigation integrity questioned again

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is coming out against statements made last week by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), as well as new claims that Google had used its political ties to the Obama administration to obtain a favorable outcome in the FTC investigation into alleged anti-trust and unfair internet search practices. The FTC states that such claims are unfounded and undermine the integrity of its investigation, while the WSJ is giving weight to the idea that anti-trust investigation might not have had much integrity on the FTC's part at all.

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FTC launches new office for tech research and investigation

FTC launches new office for tech research and investigation

The FTC has formed a new research office called the Office of Technology Research and Investigation, and as you'd expect given its name, it focuses on technology and all of the issues that might arise surrounding it. The FTC is currently on the prowl for new hires that'll be joining the office, which it said will ultimately help it "protect consumers" in a world where technology is developing rapidly. This new office is a successor to the Mobile Technology Unit, which was formed a few years ago to tackle mobile-centric technological issues in particular.

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BMW settles with the FTC over restrictive Mini warranties

BMW settles with the FTC over restrictive Mini warranties

Consumer warranties can be tricky. They are ideally designed to protect the consumer, but are mostly written by companies to protect their own interests and profit margin. BMW's auto warranties were scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which lead to an official complaint from the FTC. BMW of North America is settling with the FTC over their administrative complaint that BMW's Mini car division restricted its customers freedom to choose after-market auto parts and individual repair garages over Mini's official dealerships. In order to avoid a possibly long and drawn out court battle against the regulatory agency, BMW decided to settle.

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FTC report: Google caused ‘real harm to consumers’

FTC report: Google caused ‘real harm to consumers’

A 160 page FTC report from a couple years ago has made the light of day through an open-records request, and in it we see Google held in a harsh, often damning light. The report reveals that it was recommended that the FTC sue Google over three of the Internet giant's practices, something that would have -- had it gone through -- ended up being one of the biggest antitrust cases since the similar suit against Microsoft in the 90s. Among other things, the report says Google both has and will harm consumers and innovation with some of its actions.

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FTC charges DirecTV with fraud for misleading customers

FTC charges DirecTV with fraud for misleading customers

DirecTV has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misleading customers. The advertising in question was DirecTV's 12-month discount package. The plan was advertised as costing only $19.95, but obscured from customers was the fact that a 2-year contract was needed to get deal. Even more astounding is that the FTC alleges that DirecTV charged customers for premium channels after a 3-month trial period, and DirecTV never told customers that they needed to cancel these channels in order to avoid being charged automatically.

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FTC issues $40 million fine to TracFone for false ‘unlimited data’ claim

FTC issues $40 million fine to TracFone for false ‘unlimited data’ claim

TracFone has been issued a $40 million fine today by the FTC, who have ruled on a complaint regarding ‘unlimited’ data. The carrier was selling ‘unlimited’ data plans to customers, but heavy throttling made those plans unusable at a certain point. Though this ruling is limited to TracFone, it sets a precedent moving forward. According to the FTC, TracFone broke a promise to its customers, and is guilty of throttling data speeds by as much as 90% for some users.

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FTC to IoT makers: make data security a priority

FTC to IoT makers: make data security a priority

The Internet of Things is quickly advancing toward "household name" status, and as adoption of devices using the technology grows, so do concerns about the privacy of those who use them. We've heard stories in the past of IoT devices leaving user data vulnerable, and it is a common story when websites aggregating insecure connected cameras pop up. Now the FTC is stepping in, warning those making the devices that they need to ensure user security is a top priority.

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T-Mobile, FTC settle for $90 mil in ‘cramming’ lawsuit

T-Mobile, FTC settle for $90 mil in ‘cramming’ lawsuit

After calling the claim “unfounded and without merit”, T-Mobile has agreed to settle with the FTC over charges they ‘crammed’ bills with unnecessary and unwarranted charges. At least $90 million will be returned to consumers who can prove T-Mobile charged them for goods or services without merit. The lawsuit stretches back to July, when the FTC said T-Mobile was guilty of “cramming”, a practice of adding charges to a customer’s monthly bill for ringtones and the like.

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Apple questioned by FTC over HealthKit data

Apple questioned by FTC over HealthKit data

Apple’s HealthKit may be ahead of the curve when it comes to platforms and data gathering from multiple sources, and the FTC wants to know how Apple will handle the data we give up. According to Reuters, Apple has been approached by the FTC in a fact-finding mission to discover how our health-related data will be used. More importantly, the FTC wants to know the data is secure, and won’t be sold to any third-parties along the way.

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FTC sues AT&T over throttling of unlimited plans

FTC sues AT&T over throttling of unlimited plans

Data throttling is nothing to overlook, especially for consumers. The FTC and FCC aren’t overlooking it either, with Verizon having fallen under their watchful gaze earlier this year. Now, the FTC has formally sued AT&T, claiming they deceptively throttled customers data. According to the lawsuit, AT&T throttled at least 3.5 million unique customers over 25 million times. In some cases, the FTC says data transfer speed was throttled by up to 90%! Even more concerning is that these throttling issues affect those on AT&T unlimited plans.

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