The FTC has announced that it will host a workshop on July 16, 2019, called Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions, aimed at examining manufacturer restrictions on consumer and third-party product repairs and the extent to which such restrictions implicate consumer protection. The announcement lists covered topics, including the interplay between repair restrictions and consumer protection laws like those in the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; the impact of repair restrictions on extended warranties and service agreements; the types of repair reductions in the United States and extent to which these restrictions are used; and consumers’ understanding about the existence and effects of repair restrictions, among other subjects.
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Branded keyword advertising—bidding for your company’s website to feature prominently near a search engine’s results for branded or trademarked terms—has been around for over a decade. But a recent line of cases concerning branded keyword advertising should be of concern to all online vendors.
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Over the past few months, a new trend has emerged that has ramifications for virtually every participant in the online retail space: a rise in the number of class action claims challenging allegedly excessive shipping and handling fees. Regardless whether an online retailer offers flat or incremental fees, standard and expedited options, or free shipping with returns-only fees, few are immune from claims that the fees charged do not align perfectly with retailers’ underlying shipping costs.
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