In the past year, the FTC has promoted consumers’ so-called “right to repair.” In particular, the FTC has focused on the “Anti-Tying Rule” of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (the “MMWA”), which limits manufacturers’ ability to steer consumers to manufacturer-affiliated repair shops. Plaintiffs’ firms have taken notice, filing a spate of class actions based on purported violations of the Anti-Tying Rule. These same firms have also filed a spate of consumer class actions against retailers alleging violations of the MMWA’s “Pre-Sale Availability Rule.” Manufacturers and retailers should confirm they are complying with the MMWA and state law.
Continue Reading FTC Complaints and Class Actions Send Warning to Consumer Product Manufacturers and Retailers: Double-Check Your Product Warranties

The FTC, through the Department of Justice, has entered a settlement with two companies and the joint corporate President for falsely claiming that the LED lighting products and personal protective equipment they sold were “Assembled in the USA,” “Buy American Act Compliant,” “Manufactured in the USA” and “100% Made in the USA,” despite having been imported from China.
Continue Reading FTC Sues Importer of LED Bulbs and COVID-19 PPE for “Made in USA” Violations

As part of a broader regulatory roll-back intended to stimulate business and economic activity post-pandemic, the New York City Counsel repealed regulations affecting the auction industry. Generally, the repeal’s effect is to remove rules that regulate the conduct of auctioneers and auction houses, including licensing and disclosure requirements.
Continue Reading New York City Lifts Rules Governing Auctions

The FTC voted today to issue revised proposed Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, aka, the “Endorsement Guides.” In a 5-0 vote, including a yes vote from the FTC’s newest Commissioner, Alvaro Bedoya, the FTC agreed to publish their proposal in the Federal Register and will take comment on the updates from the public. In addition, the FTC announced that it will hold a virtual event on October 19, 2022, in which it will consider the special challenges presented by advertising to children, especially children under 12 years of age.

Continue Reading FTC Votes to Issue Revised Endorsement Guides for Public Comment

On March 31, 2022, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance and the Office of the Chief Accountant of the SEC issued Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) No. 121 (SAB 121), which “adds interpretive guidance for entities to consider when they have obligations to safeguard crypto-assets held for their platform users.” SAB 121 highlights the enhanced technological, legal and regulatory risks associated with safeguarding digital assets, as compared with more traditional asset classes.
Continue Reading SEC Issues SAB 121 Providing Accounting Guidance for Companies that Safeguard Digital Assets

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed its much-anticipated proposal to require that public companies disclose climate-related information. The proposed rule is significant because, for the first time, the SEC would mandate that companies (including foreign companies) publicly traded in the US disclose climate-related risk and greenhouse gas emissions information beyond the information currently required by existing SEC rules applicable to registration statements and annual reports.
Continue Reading The SEC Proposes a Mandatory Climate Disclosure Regime for Public Companies

On September 22, 2021, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a sample comment letter to highlight its increased focus on climate change-related disclosures or the absence of such disclosures in issuer filings under the Securities Act and the Exchange Act.
Continue Reading SEC Issues Sample Climate Change Comment Letter