June 6, 2019
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it had settled a free product trial lawsuit brought against Triangle Media Corp., Jasper Rain Marketing LLC, Hardwire Interactive Inc., Global Northern Trading Ltd., Brian Phillips, and Devin Keer (collectively, “Defendants”). The FTC’s free trial law complaint and amended complaint both alleged that Defendants violated Section 5 of the FTC Act (i.e., for unfair or deceptive acts or practices), the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (i.e., for failure to conspicuously disclose material terms prior to enrolling a consumer in an automatic renewal), and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”) (i.e., for failure to obtain consumer consent for an electronic funds transfer), by using “risk-free” trial offers to enroll consumers in negative option programs without their consent. The FTC’s free trial law complaint sought a permanent injunction, restitution, disgorgement, and costs.
How did misuse of the word “free” (combined with other misstatements) result in Defendants being named in an FTC Complaint? [Read More]