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FTC Articles

FTC Shutters Web Services Company

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission a U.S. district court has shut down the illegal operations of a company that placed false charges on the telephone bills of thousands of small businesses and people for Internet related services they never agreed to buy.

FTC Discusses Google, AdMob Antitrust
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 In testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee, the Federal Trade Commission explained how it protects consumers by applying well-established principles of competition to fast-changing technology markets.

PR Firm Settles FTC Charges Over False Reviews On iTunes
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A public relations firm hired by video game developers will settle Federal Trade Commission charges it engaged in deceptive advertising by having its employees post favorable reviews on iTunes on behalf of the developers and not revealing the reviews came form paid employees.

Intel and FTC Reach Settlement on Antitrust Case

Intel announced that it has reached a tentative settlement with the FTC in the antitrust suit the FTC brought against the company in December.

The suit alleged that Intel had violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. In this settlement, Intel does not admit any violations. Intel SVP and General Counsel Doug Melamed offered the following statement:
Intel and FTC reach agreement

Groupon Working Too Well For Some Businesses
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Groupon may be working a little too well for some businesses. As Mark D. Carlson and Emily Fredrix explore in an article, some local shops around the country are struggling to handle the customer loads that deals from Groupon are bringing in.

BlackBerry Use Limited in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

BBC News reports that two Gulf states have announced bans on some BlackBerry functions based on security concerns. The United Arab Emirates will block sending emails, accessing the Internet, and delivering instant messages to other Blackberry handsets, while Saudi Arabia will prevent the use of Blackberry to Blackberry instant messaging.

Google Tells FTC a Hot News Doctrine Would Hurt Journalism
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Last month the Federal Trade Commission published its staff discussion draft of potential policy recommendations to "support the reinvention of journalism." Those potential recommendations have been the subject of a fair amount of controversy throughout the industry.

FTC Cracks Down On Online Payment Scam
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At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has halted an online scam that used identity theft to place more than $10 million in bogus charges on consumers’ credit and debit cards, pending a trial.

More than a million consumers were hit with one-time charges of $10 or less, and their payments were routed through dummy corporations in the United States to bank accounts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Twitter Reaches Agreement With FTC

Twitter just announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that resolves some concerns the organization had with Twitter’s security practices.

The concerns at hand involve some compromises made last year, which Twitter had already addressed, and most people had probably forgotten about by now. Twitter’s A. Macgillivray explains on the Official Twitter Blog:

Should Mainstream Media Be Held to Different Standards Than Bloggers?
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Should mainstream media be held to different standards than bloggers when it comes to crediting sources? Mainstream media agencies have frequently turned their noses up at bloggers, essentially claiming that they steal and repurpose the work of their hard working journalists. While this may be true in some cases, it is hardly fair to say that this is true in general. In fact, this week, we’ve seen a clear example of the hypocrisy of this notion, because mainstream media publications are clearly just as guilty as blogs when it comes to improper crediting of sources.

Survey Suggests Majority Oppose Taxes to Save Journalism
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Update: NYT’s Brad Stone has written another post about Pulse. He quotes a spokesperson for the Times, who says, "We want to be clear that we are willing to work with Pulse, but only under our terms of use."

More here.

Google Completes Acquisition Of AdMob
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Google said today it has officially completed its acquisition of AdMob.

The Google Blog offers more details about the AdMob acquisition. "It’s clear that mobile advertising is becoming a much larger part of our clients’ and partners’ strategies and with this acquisition, it’s now a central part of our own business."

FTC Launches Site Warning Of Loan Scams
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The Federal Trade Commission has created a website for a fake lending company that warns people about how easy it is to be tricked by scammers charging upfront fees for bogus loans.

The website is part of a consumer education campaign to help consumers manage their money and learn how to spot scams.

Judge Orders Fraudulent ISP Shut Down
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A U.S. district court judge today permanently shut down a rogue Internet Service Provider that recruited, hosted and actively participated in the distribution of spam spyware, child pornography, and other malicious and illegal content, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.

The ISP’s computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court-appointed receiver, and the operation has been ordered to turn over $1.08 million in illegal profits to the FTC.

FTC Supports Better Protections For People Selling Jewelry Online
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The Federal Trade Commission told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce on Thursday it supports proposed legislation aimed at protecting consumers who sell gold and jewelry to online buyers.

Jim Kohm, Associate Director of the Enforcement Division of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified that the FTC supports the proposed Guarantee of a Legitimate Deal Act, which would strengthen the FTC’s ability to protect financially stressed consumers.

FTC Possibly Set To Oppose Google-Admob Deal

The Federal Trade Commission is not going to give Google’s acquisition of AdMob a thumbs up, according to new reports.  Indeed, the FTC seems likely to take the opposite approach and attempt to block the deal, with a formal show of opposition expected to occur in the near future.

Watchdog Group Calls For Stronger Online Child Privacy Law
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The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing today about issues surrounding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and if it should be updated to address online data collection practices, social networks, and the mobile web.

FTC Launches Site To Teach Kids About Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new advertising literacy campaign aimed at helping older children understand the ads they say and become smarter consumers.

"Today’s kids see advertising everywhere – in movies and TV shows, outdoors, on phones, in games," said David C. Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

Senator Contests Facebook’s New Approach To Privacy

Privacy experts and random users are no longer the only ones complaining about how Facebook’s latest moves have affected privacy.  Senator Charles Schumer made an objection of his own yesterday, and in fact asked the Federal Trade Commission to provide guidelines concerning the use of private info.

Google Shares Privacy Comments Submitted to FTC

Google is sharing its FTC Roundtable Comments document it submitted last week in response to the FTC’s recent "Exploring Privacy" roundtable series. This series was designed for the discussion of ways to protect consumer privacy, and included leaders from government, advocacy, academia, and industry.

Does Apple’s iAd Have the Right Stuff for Mobile Advertising?
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This week, among other things, Apple unleashed its new mobile advertising platform called iAd. This is based on the company’s acquisition of the mobile ad platform Quattro earlier this year.