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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: FTC

Outlook for Disgorgement Remedies in the Trump Administration

With the departure of now former Chairwoman Edith Ramirez earlier this month, among the most discussed vacancies in the new administration these days is the post of permanent Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. According to reports, one leading candidates is Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen, and her selection could also have significant implications for FTC

New Federal Law Prohibits Contracts With “Anti-Yelping” Provisions

Late last year, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”).   Intended to protect individuals who write unflattering online reviews of businesses, the CRFA voids contractual provisions in form contracts that: (1) prohibit non-disparagement; (2) impose liquidated damages or fines for posting disparaging reviews; or (3) exert control over the review through

FTC Issues Sharing Economy Report

In June 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop on The “Sharing” Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators. The Commission also solicited public comments on the topic, receiving more than 2,000 comments in response. On 17 November, the Commission issued a report summarizing the issues explored in the workshop and the public comments. The report emphasized that the workshop (and its ensuing summary) was not intended “as a precursor to law enforcement” but “an opportunity to learn more” about this rapidly evolving business model and to aid “the Commission, as well as regulators, consumer groups, platforms, participants using the platforms, incumbent firms, and others” to address the unique issues raised by sharing economy platforms.

Brill Discusses Benefits and Challenges of IoT at Winnik Forum

Julie Brill, Hogan Lovells Partner and former Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), delivered opening afternoon remarks at the Fifth Annual Winnik International Telecoms and Internet Forum: The Internet of Things: Legal Challenges and Opportunities.  Brill highlighted the “unquestionable” benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) while also stressing the considerable data security and

Privacy, Security, and IoT Prominent Themes at Silicon Flatirons DBM Conference

On January 31, 2016, the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado hosted its annual Digital Broadband Migration Symposium. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Evolving Industry Structure of the Digital Broadband Landscape.” The two-day conference brought together an array of leaders from government, academia, and industry to examine the role of regulatory oversight, antitrust law, and intellectual property policy in regulating industry structure and to discuss what policy reforms may be appropriate for the constantly changing digital broadband environment.

FTC Closes PayPal Investigation Over Telemarketing Rule and User Agreement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a copy of a letter that it sent to PayPal stating that the agency was closing an investigation into potential Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) violations by the company.  This release provides important insights on how companies can design their user agreements to avoid TSR violations. As background, PayPal

State Boards Seeking an Antitrust Pass? FTC Explains What They Need to Know

A Supreme Court decision from February ruled that state regulatory boards run by “a controlling number” of “active market participants” can qualify for an antitrust exemption only if they are “actively supervised” by the state. But the Court left the content of those key terms vague, leaving states to wonder about the degree of antitrust scrutiny their regulatory boards will face. The FTC staff last week issued guidance on how they believe the Supreme Court’s decision should be implemented.

Merger, They Wrote: FTC Issues Merger Investigation Survival Guide

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition (FTC or Bureau) recently released a revised set of best practices for merger investigations. Despite the many similarities with previous guidance from the FTC and the Department of Justice (DOJ), these new best practices reemphasize several strategic and effective ways for parties to avoid a request for additional

Winnik Forum – Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen Keynote Address

As the keynote speaker for the Winnik Forum, U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen sat down with Chris Wolf, Director of Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Information Management Practice to discuss the evolving role of the FTC as we enter an era of “Big Data” and the “Internet of Things.”  Commissioner Ohlhausen offered her

Winnik Forum: Drafting Legislation for the Internet of Things

One of the challenges facing regulators as they craft rules to govern the Internet of Things is that traditional industry silos that were the basis for past legislation may no longer apply.  As part of the 2014 Winnik Forum, Hogan Lovells’ partners Michele Farquhar and Trey Hanbury joined two senior staff members from the U.S.

Winnik Forum: Key Insights on the Internet of Things

At the 2014 Winnik International Telecoms & Internet Forum: the Internet of Things, a wide range of policymakers, companies and other experts spoke on a variety of issues relating to the growing ability of everyday devices to wirelessly communicate with people and with each other. In particular, speakers suggested five main insights into the future

U.S. Regulator Announces $10 Million Proposed Forfeiture Over Data Security Practices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture proposing a $10 million penalty against TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. for allegedly violating laws protecting consumers’ personal information.  Specifically, the FCC alleged that the companies placed the personal data of up to 300,000 consumers at risk by storing Social Security numbers,

FTC Extends Deadline for TSR Comments

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an extension of the deadline for comments on its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).  The new comment deadline is November 13, 2014.  Among the issues the FTC is seeking comment on are whether the TSR’s pre-acquired account information provisions should be modified; what impact, if any, the increasing use

FTC Reminds Broadband Providers of their Data Privacy and Security Obligations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which it reminded broadband Internet service providers that they are subject to several data privacy and security laws enforced by the FTC.  The FTC’s comments underscore why broadband providers – as well as their vendors and business partners – must

FTC Director Addresses Enforcement Efforts in the Healthcare Sector

In an informative speech at the recent Accountable Care Organizations Summit, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Director of the Bureau of Competition Deborah Feinstein articulated her current thinking on many important issues for healthcare providers, including: Accountable Care Organizations, merger enforcement, remedies, and certain merger defenses. As other FTC officials have done, Feinstein rejected arguments that

Defining “Payments”: The First Post-Actavis Battleground in Pharmaceutical Reverse Payments

In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in FTC v. Actavis  that reverse-payment pharmaceutical patent settlement agreements  are subject to rule of reason analysis under the antitrust laws.  In doing so, the Court not only rejected both the FTC’s position that such agreements should be presumptively unlawful and the position of pharmaceutical manufacturers that such agreements

DOJ and FTC to Shine Spotlight on Analysis of Conditional Pricing Practices Under the Antitrust Laws

The DOJ and FTC have announced a joint one-day workshop on June 23, 2014, in Washington, DC, and are requesting comments by August 22, 2014, on the topic of competition issues relating to conditional pricing practices among firms in a supply chain.  Conditional pricing practices include loyalty or bundled pricing and other arrangements where “prices

DOJ and FTC Clarify Antitrust Implications of Cybersecurity Information Sharing

On April 10, 2014, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a joint policy statement on the antitrust implications of sharing cybersecurity information to help facilitate the flow of cyberintelligence throughout the private sector. The statement addresses the long-standing concern that sharing cyberintelligence may violate antitrust law under certain circumstances and

The Antitrust Challenge to the St. Luke’s/Saltzer Medical Group Transaction: Implications for Hospital/Physician Consolidations

On January 24, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with the Idaho Attorney General and two local hospitals, prevailed in Idaho District Court in their challenge to the St. Luke’s Health System’s acquisition of a group of physicians in Nampa, Idaho. As the first litigated FTC challenge to a hospital acquisition of a physician