Technology & E-Commerce

The Federal Trade Commission and six states have filed suit against Roomster Corp. and two corporate executives, accusing the residential rental listing platform of using fake reviews and unverified listings to generate tens of millions of dollars in business. According to the complaint, these practices often occur at the expense of vulnerable customers who rely on Roomster to find safe low-cost housing within expensive housing markets.
Continue Reading Retailers Have No Room to Manipulate Reviews: FTC and States Sue Rental Listing Platform Roomster for Bogus Listings

On February 14, 2022, Noom Inc., a popular weight loss and fitness app, agreed to pay $56 million, and provide an additional $6 million in subscription credits to settle a putative class action in New York federal court. The class is seeking conditional certification and has urged the court to preliminarily approve the settlement.
Continue Reading Fitness App Agrees to Pay $56 Million to Settle Class Action Alleging Dark Pattern Practices

In the first FTC case to challenge a company’s failure to post negative reviews, the FTC has reached a proposed settlement agreement with the online fashion retailer, Fashion Nova, LLC, prohibiting the retailer from suppressing negative reviews and requiring the company to pay $4.2 million for harm suffered by consumers.
Continue Reading FTC Holds Online Fashion Brand Accountable for Suppressing Negative Reviews, Issues Updated Guidance for Marketers, and Warns Review Platforms

“Buy now, pay later” companies have exploded in popularity over the past year, largely through integration into retailers’ online checkout platforms. Often presented during checkout next to traditional payment methods like credit and debit cards, BNPL companies invite consumers to make purchases over a few payments with zero interest. There are, however, fees for missed payments, late payments, or payments rejected for insufficient funds. Moreover, BNPL offerings may occupy a gray zone apart from typical credit transactions or loans which could exempt them from all sorts of laws and regulations.
Continue Reading Challenges for “Buy Now, Pay Later” Industry May Affect Retailers

The FTC settled charges with mobile advertising company Tapjoy, Inc., on allegations that the company failed to provide promised rewards in exchange for completed activities such as the payment of money, disclosure of sometimes-sensitive personal information, or registration for “free trial” marketing offers.
Continue Reading FTC Pursues Advertising Network that Failed to Deliver In-Game Rewards in Exchange for Payment or Personal Information

Only a few states have issued guidance on the sales tax treatment of digital currency transactions. On November 2, 2020, Kansas joined this group, with Notice 20-04, Sales Tax Requirements Concerning Digital Currency Under the Retailers’ Sales and Compensating Tax Acts, issued by the Kansas Department of Revenue.
Continue Reading Kansas Issues Sales Tax Guidance on Digital Currency

On August 6, 2020, President Trump signed executive orders imposing new economic sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq.) and the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.) against TikTok, a video-sharing mobile application, and WeChat, a messaging, social media and mobile payments application.
Continue Reading U.S. Government Takes Aim at TikTok and WeChat Citing Privacy and Security Concerns