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BUSINESS
January 24, 2013 | By David Colker
So, you have a time-share to unload and a friendly salesperson calls to say he has a buyer. In fact, the caller can handle everything for you, including the Federal Trade Commission approval of the sale. All you have to do is pay a $3,000 deposit, to be refunded when the transaction is complete. Except that you never hear from the salesperson again. And by the way, the FTC does not review or approve time-share transactions. But the FTC did take action against the operators of a company it accused of pulling off that scam, taking in millions of dollars.
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BUSINESS
January 22, 2013 | By David Colker
Phone bill cramming -- by which scammers arrange to add small charges to phone bills and then collect the money -- has been going on for years. But it still can be highly lucrative, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has asked a federal court to shut down a Montana-based operation that the agency alleges reaped more than $70 million by adding charges ranging from about $10 to $25 to phone bills across the nation. According to court documents, the group named in the case went by several company names -- including American eVoice and FoneRight -- and allegedly placed bogus charges for "voice mail services, electronic fax services or other noncall-related services" on the bills of unsuspecting consumers.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- A Van Nuys debt collection operation and the people who ran it agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle federal allegations they improperly bullied consumers to get them to repay overdue bills and deceived clients about fees. The settlement ends a case that began in 2011 against Forensic Case Management Services Inc. and permanently bars the owner, David M. Hynes II, and other officers in the company from the debt collection business, the Federal Trade Commission said Thursday.
BUSINESS
January 4, 2013 | Jessica Guynn and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Even the U.S. government can't rein in Google Inc.'s dominance of online search. Federal regulators ended a 19-month antitrust investigation into the Mountain View, Calif., search engine giant without imposing any major sanctions. The probe focused on complaints that Google skews its search results to favor its own products and services, which unfairly hurt competitors. It was a bitter decision for Microsoft Inc. and a cadre of other small and large rivals that feel Google remains unchecked in its dominance of the Internet search business.
BUSINESS
January 3, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
Google scored a major victory Thursday when the Federal Trade Commission announced it was ending its 19-month antitrust probe into the technology giant's search business. And that left FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz to explain why federal officials were not bringing an antitrust case despite what he acknowledged to be “problematic business practices.” At a news conference, a defiant Leibowitz said the evidence did not support a case. “The facts were not there under the law,” Leibowitz said.
BUSINESS
January 3, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
Google reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to make voluntary changes to its search practices to put an end to a 19-month antitrust probe, the FTC announced Thursday. Google also has settled an investigation into its handling of mobile technology patents that it acquired when it bought Motorola Mobility. The settlement brings to a close one of the FTC's most closely watched investigations. Google still faces antitrust investigations by European regulators and some U.S. state attorneys general.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
For two years, Microsoft Corp. has urged antitrust regulators to crack down on arch rival Google Inc. Now that the Federal Trade Commission is poised to allow Google to emerge from the antitrust probe without having to make major changes, Microsoft is crying foul. Google is set to resolve a 20-month antitrust probe with a voluntary agreement and a consent decree on the company's use of patents, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. That means Google will voluntarily change some of its business practices, including how it uses content from other websites and allows advertisers to export data.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - In a major step to protect kids' online privacy, the Federal Trade Commission has unveiled new rules that require mobile apps and websites to obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children. The agency's chairman, Jon Leibowitz, said Wednesday that federal regulators were trying to keep pace with the growing use of mobile devices by those under age 13 - and the rapidly evolving tactics and tracking tools of marketers and data brokers that collect detailed dossiers on Americans and their online activities.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Technology has changed a lot in 15 years. It's been nearly that long since the Federal Trade Commission has updated rules protecting kids' online privacy. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it has given parents greater control over the information that online services collect from kids 12 and under. Read Jessica Guynn's story on the issue here . Among the changes to the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: The FTC updated rules for mobile apps and made it clear that a child's location, photographs and videos cannot be collected without a parent's permission.
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