April 26, 2011 |
More than 3,100 refund checks totaling $1.5 million have been sent to Latinos who were allegedly charged higher prices for home loans by a Bakersfield mortgage company, the Federal Trade Commission said. The checks were part of a settlement last year with Golden Empire Mortgage Inc. and its owner, Howard D. Kootstra, after the FTC accused them of illegally charging Latino customers more for mortgages than non-Latino borrowers. The practice violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which bars creditors from discriminating against loan applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin or other factors.
April 2, 2011
When Google launched Google Buzz last year in a bid to challenge Facebook and Twitter, it drew an angry backlash from consumers and privacy advocates who complained that the company had disclosed potentially sensitive personal information about users without their knowledge. That misstep, which Google quickly corrected, has now turned into a step forward for consumer privacy. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Google that establishes two important new principles about what companies must do before disclosing their customers' personal details.
February 11, 2011 |
A privacy bill introduced in Congress on Friday raised the possibility that Internet users will be able to prevent advertisers from tracking what they do online. Similar to the 2003 Do Not Call Registry that prevents telemarketers from calling consumers who don't want to be contacted, the "Do Not Track" bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission to force online advertisers to respect the wishes of users who do not want to be tracked for marketing purposes. "Failure to do so would be considered an unfair or deceptive act punishable by law," said a statement from the office of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough)
November 29, 2010 |
A weekly roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Online dating ? People who use online dating services should be careful that what seems like love may only be a ruse to get money, the Federal Trade Commission warned in a recent bulletin. Some people use dating sites to form bonds and then ask for money, the FTC said. Consumers should be cautious if someone they meet online immediately professes love or asks for money so they can travel to meet them, the FTC said.
September 27, 2010 |
The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against Los Angeles-based pomegranate juice maker Pom Wonderful and its billionaire owners, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, alleging that they violated federal law by making "false and unsubstantiated claims" about the health benefits of their products. Since its launch in 2002, the garnet-red juice in the curvy little bottle gave way to a marketing craze of flavored fruit teas, martinis and salad dressings — a culinary boom bolstered by Pom's products advertised as helping to treat conditions including heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
August 10, 2010 |
Two auto safety advocacy groups are asking the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit Enterprise Holdings Inc., the owner of the Enterprise, National and Alamo rental car companies, from renting out recalled vehicles that have not been fixed. The Center for Auto Safety and Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety petitioned the FTC to stop the practice. They were joined in the petition by Carol Houck, the mother of two young women killed in the 2004 crash of a PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
August 3, 2010 |
Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker, has agreed to settle its antitrust case with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency said Tuesday. The FTC issued a statement announcing that details of the settlement would be disclosed Wednesday at a news conference. The FTC had sued in December, accusing Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel of illegally using its dominance for a decade to block customers from buying competitors' products. The agency said Intel forced computer makers into exclusive deals and blocked rivals from making their chips work with Intel's.
June 10, 2010 |
U-Haul International Inc. has settled charges that it tried to fix truck rental prices with rival Avis Budget Group Inc., the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. U-Haul, which is owned by Amerco, had publicly and privately reached out to Budget several times from 2006 to 2008 to try to push up rates for one-way truck rentals, the FTC said. The FTC said U-Haul Chief Executive Edward Shoen learned in 2006 that Budget was pushing down some rental rates, prompting him to try to collude with rivals on prices.
February 19, 2010 |
Bruce Springsteen fans who bought seats for a hugely popular "Working on a Dream" concert last year were sold "phantom tickets" that Live Nation Entertainment Inc.'s Ticketmaster unit didn't have in hand, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The federal agency, which had accused the company of "deceptive bait-and-switch tactics," Thursday denounced the practice, which left hundreds of would-be concertgoers without tickets they thought they had legitimately purchased on Ticketmaster's TicketsNow resale site.
January 10, 2010 |
For mortgage applicants and home buyers, it's been a six-year wait, but the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve finally have come out with consumer credit protection rules first required by Congress in 2003. In late December, the two agencies published regulations designed to safeguard loan applicants from overcharges on interest rates caused by erroneous or outdated negative information in their national credit bureau files. The rules require lenders to alert consumers when derogatory credit data cause them to be charged higher rates and down payments or receive less than optimal terms on a "risk-based pricing" system.