February 16, 2023

Advertising Law News and Analysis

2 min

FTC's Case Against Intuit Isn't Won—Yet

Gather your W-2’s and call your CPAs! Tax season is upon us, and that means one thing for the FTC—another flurry of activity in its ongoing action against Intuit, Inc., one of the largest online tax-filing services. Recently, the FTC issued an order denying complaint counsel's motion for summary decision in the case, concluding that the matter will proceed to a full evidentiary hearing—the FTC's administrative version of a trial.

North Carolina Judge Says Cell Phones Not Subject to Federal Do-Not-Call Protections

Last week, a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina dismissed a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who claimed calls made by an insurance lead generator to her cell phone number, which was registered on the national Do Not Call (DNC) registry, were unlawful. The decision takes a view contrary to that of at least one other district court in the Fourth Circuit, but sides with a district court in Texas in finding that the do not call prohibitions of the TCPA do not encompass cell phones.

Third Circuit Strikes TCPA Fax Lawsuit

On January 19, 2023 the Third Circuit dismissed a TCPA class action lawsuit (Mauthe v. Millennium Health LLC) against a company that had sent a one-page promotional fax to consumers without their prior consent about a free educational seminar related to drug testing and medication monitoring.

DOJ Withdraws Past Guidance Including "Safety Zone" for Information Exchanges

On February 3, 2023, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew its nearly 30-year-old guidance on information exchanges in the healthcare industry, including the "safety zone" for benchmarking that the antitrust agencies had suggested also applied to participants in other industries. Up until the withdrawal, the DOJ guidance, jointly issued with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), provided a "safety zone" for information exchanges that followed certain guidelines, such as using third parties to collect data, limiting the exchange to information that was at least three months old, and aggregating data so that it would not be identifiable by participant. Over the years, many trade associations, professional societies, and businesses have structured their industry data programs in a manner consistent with this guidance in order to minimize antitrust risk.

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