Looking Ahead: Significant Changes in California Law for Subscription Merchants Coming in July 2022
The regulatory landscape of subscription-based offers continues to evolve. As we last covered earlier this year, federal and state regulators and private plaintiffs have ramped up actions and challenges against companies that sell products and services on an automatically renewing basis. This week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed new legislation to protect California consumers.
Should Private Equity Worry About Consumer Protection Investigations?
FTC Chairwoman Lina Kahn, who took over the reins of the FTC in June, is making it clear that she is no fan of the direction some private equity-owned businesses have taken in recent years. She takes particular issue with, "extractive business models" that "centralize control and profits while outsourcing risk, liability, and costs." She went on to say these business models, "warrant particular scrutiny, given that deeply asymmetric relationships between the controlling firm and dependent entities can be ripe for abuse."
The Khan Manifesto
On September 22, 2021, FTC Chairperson Lina Khan published a memorandum to FTC staff urging the agency to unite behind her vision and priorities for the agency, and announcing that the elite vanguard leading Khan's effort will be acting Bureau Directors Sam Levine and Holly Vedova, both of whom will become permanent directors of the Bureau of Consumer Protection and the Bureau of Competition, respectively. Khan has previously indicated that the FTC needs to throw off its bureaucratic chains of past approaches and practices and be more aggressive in enforcing both consumer protection and competition laws.
Louisiana PSC Downgrades State of Emergency, Allowing for Calls to Begin Again
Three weeks ago, we informed you that the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) had declared a state of emergency in light of Hurricane Ida, which meant that callers could not place any "telephonic solicitations" into the state, regardless of whether the calls were with the recipients' prior express written consent, pursuant to an established business relationship, or even simply for collection purposes. Today, the PSC downgraded the emergency status, which means that telephone calls can, once again, be placed into the state effective tonight (September 17, 2021) at 6:00 p.m. CST.
Stronger Together: Venable Foundation Highlights
In this inaugural edition of the Venable Foundation quarterly newsletter, we're highlighting 2021 grantees from around the country whose work impacts a diverse range of priority areas and communities. The Venable Foundation, funded annually by equity partners, promotes the health and well-being of the communities where the firm's clients and professionals work and live. In 2020, the Foundation granted more than $4 million to 350+ organizations.