Gagging Gag Clauses under the Consumer Review Fairness Act
For the first time since the Consumer Review Fairness Act (CRFA) went into effect in March of 2017, the FTC has brought three separate actions enforcing the CRFA to halt the use of "gag clauses" – i.e., contract provisions that prohibit consumers from writing or posting negative reviews. The CRFA bans these types of non-disparagement clauses in consumer form contracts when the clauses are imposed on individuals without giving them a meaningful opportunity to negotiate.
FTC Warns Ukraine Company: You Can't Let Kids Use Your Dating Apps
With more and more children becoming technologically savvy, parents are having to rely more heavily on laws such as the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to shield their children's information. The FTC recently issued a warning letter to a Ukraine-based company, Wildec LLC, for allowing children under the age of thirteen to access its dating apps—alleging a potential violation of COPPA and the FTC Act.
California Advertised-Discount Law Safe—For Now
The advertised-discount provision of California's False Advertising Law, California Business and Professions Code § 17501, lives to fight another day. A coalition of national department stores, having found themselves brought together by the regulatory lasso of the Los Angeles City Attorney, recently took a big swing at the validity of that statute by objecting to its constitutionality on vagueness and free-speech grounds. The stores' argument connected with the district court, but was ultimately thrown out by the California Court of Appeals.
Online Lender Settles with FTC on UDAP, TSR, and EFTA Claims
The Federal Trade Commission's settlement with an online consumer lending platform, Avant LLC, highlights the importance of legal and regulatory compliance in the fintech space, including—perhaps most importantly—what happens after a loan is made.
According to the Commission's complaint, Avant offered personal consumer loans through its website. The complaint notes that although the loans were formally issued through a bank partner, Avant handled all stages of the process, and all consumer interactions, including advertising, application processing, and all aspects of loan servicing and collection of payments.