When Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced it was acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion, it was expected that there would be some opposition. A privacy advocacy group is asking regulators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block the deal. The advocacy group wants to get a better idea of what Facebook plans to do with the private data of the existing members of WhatsApp.
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Federal Trade Commission Posts
Around three years ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started investigating the way that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in-app purchases worked. Children being able to buy in-app purchases without permission from parents was very simple back then. In a few circumstances, children ran up to hundreds and even thousands of in-app virtual goods. Apple has agreed to pay $32.5 million as part of a settlement.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims that GeneLink has made false claims not based on science and has not protected consumer information. GeneLink Biosciences is a personal genetics company that is similar to 23andMe. GeneLink analyzed DNA and sent back nutritional supplements based on your genome. GeneLink promised that the supplements were good for helping with heart disease, insomnia, etc.
Google, BlackBerry, EarthLink, and Red Hat Sends Comments To The FTC and DOJ Around “Patent Troll” Issues
Matthew Bye, the Senior Competition Counsel at Google, has reported that Google has submitted comments with BlackBerry, EarthLink, and Red Hat to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the growing harm that is caused by “patent trolls.” Google was encouraged by the recent attention on the problems that patent trolls cause, which is estimated to be around $30 billion per year according to a Boston University law study. Patent trolls hurt consumers and they stifle innovation.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Google has not violated any antitrust laws. However the company has agreed to make some changes in how rivals are treated. The antitrust probe has been going on for the last 19 months. The FTC’s investigation was specifically focused on whether Google abused their dominance in Internet search. Google’s rivals complained that the company highlights their own services and burying the results to competing websites.
Google was ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pay a $22.5 million fine. Apparently Google illegally bypassed user privacy settings in Apple’s Safari web browser. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston approved of the fine in a San Francisco, California federal court this past Friday. This is the largest fine that the FTC applied to a single company.
The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against Dish Network for making telemarketing calls to millions of people in the United States, who had previously requested the provider to stop calling them. If the FTC proves that this is true, it would mean that the satellite company is guilty of breaking the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. The FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rules says that telemarketers are prohibited from making calls again if the consumer asks to be added to a do-no-call list. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said “It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company – which ought to know better – appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told Dish Network to leave them alone.” [TheVerge]