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FCC Rules that TCPA Prohibitions Do Not Include Federal Government Robocalls

Businesses, government agencies, and others who communicate directly with clients, consumers, or customers through electronic means understand the importance of fully complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA sets forth behaviors that are prohibited in the interests of protecting consumer privacy and other rights. Businesses that violate provisions of the TCPA frequently find themselves facing class action lawsuits since the violation is typically repeated as additional calls and communications are made. (more…)

Water Treatment Chemical Supply Company Faces $5 Million Antitrust Penalty, Civil Class Action Lawsuit

The purpose of antitrust law in the United States is to promote and protect a competitive marketplace. Thus, as is often stated, the goal of antitrust law is to protect competition, and not competitors, in the marketplace. Companies and businesses that flout antitrust protections like the Sherman Act which prohibits price fixing, bid-rigging, and other anticompetitive acts can face not only government enforcement actions spearheaded by the Department of Justice, but also civil actions by affected parties. In some cases, the civil action may grow to a class action lawsuit.   (more…)

Two Auto Parts Companies Indicted Over Antirust Allegations

Domestic and foreign companies that do business in the United States must be certain to comply with all U.S. law protecting marketplace competition and prohibiting anti-competitive practices. Antitrust allegations can not only impact the companies themselves but also managers, directors, and other high-ranking officials in the company. The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division aggressively investigate and prosecute actions that violate the Sherman Act and other U.S. laws. Companies and officials who are tempted to fix prices, engage in bid rigging, and other practices should reconsider these actions. According to Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, “[The DOJ] will not be deterred from holding those involved – both corporations and individuals – accountable for their actions, and we welcome the opportunity to prove our cases to a jury.”  (more…)

Scope of Wendy’s Data Breach Larger than Initially Reported

In today’s increasingly interconnected and information-based economy, information regarding consumer habits and practices is increasingly valuable. Furthermore, consumer payment information remains a valuable commodity for hackers and others on the black market. In fact, underground black market web forums where bundled consumer credit, debit, and payment card information is sold are increasingly common despite corporate and law enforcement efforts to crack down on activities of this nature.    (more…)

Facebook faces Multiple TCPA Lawsuits Due to Birthday and Hacking Notification Texts

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is legislation that sets forth both acceptable and unacceptable conduct concerning a broad array of activities related to telecommunications including the automated sending of text messages. TCPA sets forth something of a legal minefield for businesses who wish to leverage the benefits of instant communications to users cell phones and mobile devices while remaining compliant with the law. Unfortunately, the penalties set forth in TCPA can aggregate thus creating significant penalties due to a mistake or ill-considered policies or practices. In two separate class actions, plaintiffs allege that Facebook violated the TCPA and wrongfully sent text messages to the mobile devices of users and others who had not signed up for the service.   (more…)

High Court’s Class Action Decision in Spokeo raises More Litigation Concerns than Clarity

The class action lawsuit arose due to consumer concerns regarding Spokeo’s “people search engine” platform. The platform provides an array of information regarding individuals including a home address, age, education, birthday, phone number, relatives, and various other information.  Unfortunately, and as class members alleged, at least some of the information presented on Spokeo is incorrect or inaccurate.   (more…)

Start-ups, Small, and Mid-Sized Businesses Can Also Face Antitrust Risk and Opportunities

Antitrust law is frequently mischaracterized as a body of law that only major corporations and others with significant market power should express concern over. However, antitrust law can also affect smaller players, start-ups, and even entrepreneurial endeavors. For instance, smaller companies may benefit from a strategically timed antitrust suit. Conversely, a small business that does not have broad market power may nevertheless wield out sized influence of a particularized market sector. The key consideration when considering antitrust law is that the Sherman Act and other antitrust laws are intended to protect competition and not competitors or consumers.   (more…)

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Updates Guidelines for Government Contractor Sex Discrimination Rule

In January 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced that it was initiating a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address concerns regarding the federal rules set forth to govern how federal contractors and subcontractors prohibit sex discrimination. Concerns included the fact that the federal rules no longer necessarily comported with judicial decisions and federal case law. The proposal was targeted at rescinding outdated and inaccurate previous guidance and better aligning recommendations with current law.   (more…)

Denied Sanofi Motion to Dismiss Junk Fax Suit Shows Extent of Class Action Exposure Post Campbell-Ewald

The Third Circuit had long held that a settlement offer that satisfies the entire judgment demand by plaintiffs. This holding often had the effect of allowing class action matters to be dismissed due to mootness. However for defendants nationwide, this tactic is no longer available. This fact will likely come as a shock to defendants in the Third Circuit where previous rulings had held that a sufficient settlement agreement could moot not only the plaintiff’s individual claims, but also class claims pre-class certification.    (more…)

Verizon Enterprise Services Releases 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report

The 2016 data breach report found that no industry was left unaffected by data breaches and their costs and consequences. While the report indicates that public reporting requirements skewed its stats, bridges and the public sector are by far the most common. Outside of this area, breaches in the entertainment, finance, accommodations, and retail sectors accounting for significant numbers of data breaches. The full report can be obtained on Verizon Enterprise Services website(more…)

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