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Over a spirited dissent, and in a 3–1 decision issued on November 14, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioners held that 1-800 Contacts violated Section 5 of the FTC Action by entering into settlement agreements with competitors that (1) harmed consumers in the online sale of contact lenses and (2) harmed search engines by artificially reducing the prices paid for online advertisements. The settlement agreements at issue resolved allegations by 1-800 Contacts that its competitors…
Over a spirited dissent, and in a 3-1 decision issued on November 14, the FTC Commissioners held that 1-800 Contacts violated Section 5 of the FTC Action by entering into settlement agreements with competitors that (1) harmed consumers in the online sale of contact lenses and (2) harmed search engines by artificially reducing the prices paid for online advertisements. The settlement agreements at issue resolved allegations by 1-800 Contacts that its competitors were infringing upon…
As covered in “Court Overturns $350 Million Judgment in FCA Case: Materiality, Scienter, and Causation Standards Preclude Liability by “’Zaps, Traps, and Zingers’”, Andy Bernasconi discusses a recent case, in which the Middle District of Florida issued a blistering opinion vacating a $350 million judgment in a False Claims Act (FCA) case and granting the defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law. This is part of a growing list of decisions…
With the holiday marketing season upon us, marketers launch the month-long, relentless scramble for consumer visibility and coveted advertising space on high-traffic inventory. One matter likely not on marketers’ radars? Antitrust violations. A recent ruling on a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) against 1-800 Contacts scrutinizes the brand’s ad tech playbook through an antitrust lens, calling into question the legality of certain private agreements. The crux of the FTC’s unfair competition case…
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued a well-reasoned decision that takes the rare step of overruling a jury finding of False Claims Act (FCA) liability, and erasing the damages award of more than $663 million, after trebling and inclusion of civil penalties. See United States ex rel. Harman v. Trinity Indus. Inc., No. 15-41172, 2017 WL 4325279 (5th Cir. Sept. 29, 2017). The decision applied the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision…