Amazon restructures seller fees to match its regional fulfillment strategy amid FTC lawsuit - Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Selling Partner Services, sp... - https://www.geekwire.com/2023/amazon-restructures-seller-fees-to-match-its-regional-fulfillment-strategy-amid-ongoing-ftc-lawsuit/ #dharmeshmehta #e-commerce #amazon #ftc
I've written a lot about Biden's excellent appointees, from his #NationalLaborRelationsBoard general counsel #JenniferAbruzzo to #ConsumerFinanceProtectionBureau chair #RohitChopra to #FTC Chair #LinaKhan to #DoJ #antitrust boss #JonathanKanter:
Why we need legislation requiring more transparency in breach notices, Saturday edition (Bluefield University):
I've listed some elements that I would like to see in legislation. Please add your own thoughts in the comment section under the post or here.
#DataBroker’s “staggering” sale of sensitive info exposed in unsealed #FTC filing
One of world's largest #databrokers, #Kochava, lost battle to stop FTC from revealing disturbing, widespread pattern of unfair use & sale of sensitive data without consent from hundreds of millions of people. Disclosing "staggering amount of sensitive and identifying information about consumers," alleging Kochava's database includes products capable of identifying nearly every person in US
@epicprivacy: #Meta filed suit in US District Court for DC to preemptively halt the #FTC’s proceeding, arguing that the Commission’s structure and enforcement procedures—which are firmly grounded in decades of federal law and agency practice—violate a laundry list of constitutional provisions. Meta is seeking a preliminary injunction staying the FTC’s action based on the company’s novel reading of the Constitution.
#Amazon is out of control and the U.S. government (#FTC) better take note and pull it in before it's too late.
#Bezos owns Amazon which is replacing
*US Post Office & other competitors
*Groceries & delivery
*Most consumer products
*The Washington Post & a branch of conservative/far right #news #propaganda
Wake up America!!
ICYMI on Friday while you were surfing for deals:
A health system says that at a 2021 dinner, #Optum execs told the health system to "stay in its lane" and out of the physician business, which Optum viewed as its "domain."
Many more alleged anti-competitive practices abound in the lawsuit. Read more: https://www.statnews.com/2023/11/24/unitedhealth-optum-antitrust-lawsuit/
That's terrific ammo for the #FTC, and will doubtless benefit the Democrats running against would-be Indiana senator #JohnRust, whose family owns convicted egg cartel member #RoseAcreFarms and whose wife just stepped down as chair of the board.
One underappreciated aspect of the global war on corporate power is that the same corporations commit the same crimes in countries all over the world.
"A new rule proposed by the Federal Trade Commission (#FTC) would ban the sneaky fees some companies slap onto their services at checkout time. Thanks to these junk fees, which have crept into the process of everything from buying concert tickets to booking vacation rentals, the prices consumers initially see are often nowhere near what they end up paying."
Good. Price things transparently.
Here's the latest example to cross my path: the #FTC has intervened in a lawsuit over generic insulin pricing, on an issue that is incredibly technically specific and also fantastically important:
The underlying case is before the FDA, and it concerns the dirty tricks that pharma giant #Sanofi used to keep #Mylan from making a generic version of Mylan's #Lantus insulin after its patent expired.
Wired: Sam Altman’s Second Coming Sparks New Fears of the AI Apocalypse https://www.wired.com/story/sam-altman-second-coming-sparks-new-fears-ai-apocalypse/ #Tech #wired #TechNews #IT #Technology via @morganeogerbc #Business/ArtificialIntelligence #artificialintelligence #MorningAfter #Regulation #Business #ChatGPT #OpenAI #FTC
Good essay about "forces that led to the Great Enshittening", @pluralistic .
"When internal factions at tech companies argue about whether to make their services worse, there's a heavy weight tilting the scales towards enshittification."
"This is the culprit: monopoly, and its handmaiden, regulatory capture. That's why today's antimonopoly movement... are so important. "
FTC expands oversight on AI products
The FTC emphasized the vulnerability of the incarcerated customer base, highlighting the limited options for communication with loved ones.
"the FTC unveiled a proposal that would require hotels, landlords, ticket brokers & other companies to disclose extra charges up front to consumers.
“Consumers have become fed up with these hidden fees,” said Samuel Levine, the director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the #FTC. “If a consumer is led to believe something costs $10, and it costs $20, they’ve been misled.”
Does claiming you were hacked when you had really just screwed up violate the FTC Act?
New: I have followed up on my recent OpEd with another example of misleading and deceptive notifications and why HHS and FTC can and should do more enforcement, but why we also need legislation enacted.
Not only did they charge prisoners sky-high rates for contact with their families, they ran a wildly insecure service that breached the data of 600,000 users:
These prisoners and families had "sensitive personal information" exposed online in unencrypted form, and were not informed of the breach, according to an #FTC complaint:
It seems that the FTC agrees with a point I made the other day about not notifying people is an unfair practice under the FTC Act.
I'm thinking maybe I should somehow find some time and try to file some FTC complaints about companies that don't notify timely and withhold information consumers need to assess their risk and to protect themselves.
TV set-top boxes infected with malware are being sold online at Amazon and other resellers, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants the Federal Trade Commission to put a stop to it. #EFF #FTC #AndroidTV #settopboxes #malware #clickfraud #cybersecurity #supplychainattacks #consumerprotection
An interview with #FTC's #LynaKhan to make you smile.
Says Khan: “#Amazon has actually quietly been hiking prices for consumers in ways that are not always clearly visible but at the end of the day can result in consumers paying billions of dollars more than they would if there was actually competition in the market.”
「X（旧Twitter）は 9月に自社プラットフォーム上で ラベルのない広告を掲載していたことが摘発された 。 この問題は現在も続いており、FTC の注目を集めています。 独立系非営利団体 Check My Adsは、 どの投稿が広告であるかについての開示の欠如、広告がターゲティングされている理由を説明するリンク切れなどを含む、X社の広告慣行に関する調査を求める正式な苦情を米国連邦取引委員会に提出した。」
Buttigieg can't simply hand down orders under 41712(a) - to wield this power, he must follow administrative procedures, conducting market studies, seeking comment, and proposing a rule. Other members of the Biden administration with similar powers, like #FTC chair #LinaKhan, arrived in office with a ranked-priority list of bad corporate conduct and immediately set about teeing up rules to give relief to the American public.
Even #LinaKhan - the bogeywoman of the *WSJ* editorial page - got a warm reception at her fireside chat:
@euroinfosec Great! I think we need to identify what we consider the minimum necessary elements or conditions to be disclosed and also what kinds of deceptive language or possibly misleading language need to be flat-out prohibited.
Maybe you can do an OpEd on your site, too, and we can start to get more people publicly speaking up on this issue.
And fwiw, I think the #GDPR and Canadian laws are also too weak in terms of mandating disclosure and transparency. I actually got sued in a Canadian court and had a court order against me for reporting on a breach and disclosing info on it.
It didn't stop me, of course, but still, the presumption should be disclosure and transparency.
(For those who don't know me IRL, my dad always told me I was a "tough cookie." 😂 )
#databreach #disclosure #notification #incident response #transparency #FTC #HHS #OCR #SEC
#AI #GenerativeAI #Copyright #IP #AITraining #FTC: "The agency cautioned that generative AI could mimic “artists’ faces, voices, and performances without permission,” deceiving consumers about a work’s true authorship. FTC officials also expressed concerns about copyright violations, stating AI systems are trained on “pirated content” scraped “without consent.”
On copyright infringement, the FTC stated that “the use of pirated or misuse of copyrighted materials could be an unfair practice or unfair method of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act.”
Separately but relatedly, leading AI companies such as OpenAI and Anthropic are facing lawsuits accusing them of violating copyright by using copyrighted content in their training data."
Paging regulators to Aisle 4 to look at Pacific Union College's data security and breach disclosure:
Think of #BindingArbitration, which allows Chamberlain to force you to click through an "agreement" that takes away your right to sue them or join a class-action suit:
This is a pretty typical PE rollup, and it exploits a bug in US competition law called #AntitrustsTwilightZone:
When companies buy each other, they are subject to "#MergerScrutiny," a set of guidelines that the #FTC and #DoJAntitrustDivision use to determine whether the outcome is likely to be bad for competition.
So, this article from #ArsTechnica naturally caught my eye.
Simply, got gotta read it if you care at all about privacy. Let's hope the #FTC wins its case.
Be sure to follow the link to the amended complaint. What the #government alleges is astonishing.
Be sure to go
Data broker’s “staggering” sale of sensitive info exposed in unsealed FTC filing - Enlarge (credit: da-kuk | E+)
One of the world's largest mobil... - https://arstechnica.com/?p=1982106 #personallyidentifyinginformation #federaltradecommission #onlinedatamarketplace #onlineadvertising #onlineprivacy #sensitivedata #locationdata #databroker #kochava #policy #adtech #ftc #pii
Today, Khan is the chair of the #FTC, and has brought a case against Amazon that turns her legal theories into practice, backed by a cheering chorus of Amazon customers, workers, suppliers and competitors who've been cheated by the e-commerce giant:
Khan's case argues that Amazon is not the house of bargains that it's widely billed as.
In the US Federal Trade Commission (#FTC) anti-trust case against #Amazon reveals a secret price raising algorithm that brought in $1 billion in excess profits https://thehill.com/newsletters/technology/4292792-amazon-price-hike-tool-revealed-in-ftc-filing/
One interesting wrinkle to framing platform degradation as a failure to connect willing senders and receivers is that it places a whole host of conduct within the regulatory remit of the #FTC. #Section5 of the #FTCAct contains a broad prohibition against "unfair and deceptive" practices:
Former CEO Jeff Bezos instructed executives to "accept more defects," an internal term for irrelevant ads.
#amazon #FTC #monopoly #Antitrust #newdocuments #redacted
All workers can and should tell their own story. Doing so isn't just a way to change the narrative - it's also a way to change policy. The new merger guidelines from the #FTC and #DoJ #Antitrust Division explicitly incorporate labor-market effects into antitrust policy. As #BrianCallaci and #SandeepVaheesan write for #TheSling, the testimony of workers and unions can help produce the evidentiary basis for blocking the mergers that lead to monopolies:
Who should set #TradeRules for US commerce -- Amazon? FTC? IMO, FTC better serves people in US.
"For decades, the DoJ and FTC sat idly by while Amazon assembled and fortified its monopoly. Today, Amazon is the de facto e-commerce regulator. The company charges its independent sellers 45-51% in junk fees to sell on the platform". -- @pluralistic
$1 for Seller, $1 for Amazon
...& higher prices for everyone
But it's clearly possible to make good regulations - especially if you don't allow companies to form monopolies or cartels. What's more, failing to make *public* regulations isn't the same as getting rid of regulation. In the absence of public regulation, we get *private* regulation, run by companies themselves.
Another plastic surgery practice appears to have been hit -- this time by Hunters International:
#5yrsago Security researchers identify “fingerprints” in #3DPrintedObjects that can be used to trace their manufacturing https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181018151044.htm
#5yrsago All the economists who told the #FTC we shouldn’t break up #BigTech are paid by Big Tech https://www.fastcompany.com/90253465/should-we-break-up-the-tech-giants-not-if-you-ask-the-economists-who-take-money-from-them
#5yrsago US Customs is seizing refurbished Apple batteries and calling them “counterfeits” https://www.vice.com/en/article/a3ppvj/dhs-seized-aftermarket-apple-laptop-batteries-from-independent-repair-expert-louis-rossman
But while Amazon's defensive might is laser-focused on the threat of labor organizers and documentarians, the company can't figure out that one of its bestselling products is bottles of its tormented drivers' own urine.
In the USA, the #FTC is suing Amazon for its monopolistic tactics, arguing that the company has found ways to raise prices and reduce quality by trapping manufacturers and sellers with its logistics operation.
From 04 Oct: Report: Amazon made B with secret algorithm for spiking prices Internet-wide - EnlargeBloomberg / Contributor Bloomberg Last week, the Federal Trade Commiss... https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2023/10/report-amazon-made-1b-with-secret-algorithm-for-spiking-prices-internet-wide/ #amazon #antitrust #antitrust-law #federal-trade-commission #ftc #monopoly #online-marketplace #online-retailer #policy
#5yrsago #GDPR: Good for #privacy, better for Google dominance https://cliqz.com/en/magazine/study-google-is-the-biggest-beneficiary-of-the-gdpr</a.
#5yrsago Radical expansion of Australia’s #NationalFirewall will censor search results and websites https://www2.computerworld.com.au/article/648404/new-anti-piracy-laws-target-search-engines/
#5yrsago #Anaheim’s #LivingWage ballot measure pits big corporate donors against union money https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-disney-unions-anaheim-elections-20181018-story.html
#1yrago Being good at your job is praxis: The #FTC can mandate #RightToRepair without (further) Congressional authorization https://pluralistic.net/2022/10/18/administrative-competence/#i-know-stuff
For one thing, Musk's Twitter has violated innumerable laws and consent decrees in the US, Canada and the EU, which creates a space for regulators to impose "conduct remedies" on the company.
It's not just Ballmer, either. In theory, corporate crime *should* be hard to prosecute because it's so hard to prove criminal intent. But tech executives can't help telling on themselves, and are very prone indeed to putting all their nefarious plans in writing (think of the #FTC conspirators who hung out in a group-chat called "Wirefraud"):
Ballmer's colleagues at Microsoft were far from circumspect on the illegitimacy of the Puerto Rico gambit.
After 21 months, it's over!
Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard is going through in the UK (Update: It's a done deal) - Desk Chair Analysts
President Biden proposes a new FTC rule to prohibit “junk fees,” a business practice that hides the full price of goods and services from customers. Under the rule, businesses such as ticket sellers, hotels and car rental services that do not display the full price of their products up front will be fined and forced to compensate consumers.
When a corporation can hide evidence and testimony from the public and the press, it gains broad latitude to dispute critics, including government enforcers, based on evidence that no one is allowed to see, or, in many cases, even *describe*. Take #ProjectNessie, the program that the #FTC claims Amazon used to compel third-party sellers to hike prices across many categories of goods:
“Consent, credit and compensation.
‘If an individual decided to infringe on one of these companies’ copyright-protected content…that individual would face a great deal of financial and legal ramifications…why is the reverse not true? Shouldn’t the individuals whose intellectual property was used to train the AI algorithm at least be equally protected?’”
All of this seems to me to be an "unfair and deceptive business practice" under Sec 5 of the #FTC
If I sign up to follow you because I want to see what you post, and Twitter shadowbans your posts unless they are formatted to maximize your dependence on Twitter, they have deceived me, and are being unfair to you.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has alleged that Amazon used an algorithm called "Project Nessie" to test how high it could raise prices before being undercut by competitors. When competitors didn't match Amazon's price hikes, the company would automatically return prices to their previous lower level, the FTC claimed. Nessie was also used to discount goods, with Amazon offering discounts if competitors reduced prices. The FTC's suit alleges that Project Nessie extracted an excess of $1 billion from American households in "excess profit."
The reason Dayen is writing about Agri Stats now is that the #DoJ #AntitrustDivision has brought an antitrust suit against them. This is part of a *wave* of antitrust actions brought by Biden's DoJ and #FTC, who, along with his #NLRB, are shaping up to be the most pugnacious, public-interest force against corporate power since the Reagan administration:
All this enforcement isn't a coincidence.
Some of those rackets are well-known, like #JediBlue, the market-rigging conspiracy that Google and Facebook colluded on:
But thanks to the antitrust trial, we're learning about more of these. #MeganGray - ex-#FTC, ex-#DuckDuckGo - was in the courtroom last week when evidence was presented on Google execs' panic over a decline in "ad generating searches" and the sleazy gimmick they came up with to address it.
This week, the miscellany begins with the first hesitant signs of an emerging, post-neoliberal order. The #FTC, under direction of the force-of-nature that is #LinaKhan, has brought its long-awaited case #antitrust case against #Amazon. I am *very* excited about this. Disoriented, even.
When was the last time you greeted every day with a warm feeling because high officials in the US government were working for the betterment of every person in the land?
We're 30 years into the commercial surveillance pandemic and Congress still hasn't passed a federal privacy law with a private right of action. But other agencies aren't waiting for Congress. The #FTC and #DoJ Antitrust Division have proposed new #MergerGuidelines that allow regulators to consider privacy harms when companies merge:
The authors take advantage of a time-series of ZIP-code-accurate fraud complaint data from the #ConsumerFinanceProtectionBoard, supplemented by complaints from the #FTC, along with Apple's rollout of #AppTrackingTransparency, a change to app-based tracking on Apple mobile devices that turned of third-party commercial surveillance unless users explicitly opted into being spied on. More than 96% of Apple users blocked spying:
One day after the Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon, the company told sellers that the suit “does not change anything about our relationship.”
#amazon #Antitrust #lawsuit #FTC #monopoly