Diane's Feed
Nov 19, 2014

U.S. court shuts down telemarketer FTC says bilked customers of $120 mln

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – A federal court has
temporarily shut down a U.S. technology telemarketing operation
accused of bilking customers of $120 million, while also
ordering the freezing of assets of telemarketers and their
executives.

The Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday that it
successfully asked a federal court in Florida to shut down Boost
Software and its related operation, Vast Tech Support.

Nov 19, 2014

Credit monitoring company One Technologies settles with FTC

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Credit monitoring company One
Technologies LP will refund $22 million to customers to settle
U.S government allegations that its websites inadequately
disclosed its charges for credit scores, the two sides said on
Wednesday.

A draft complaint from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission
alleged that the Dallas-based privately held company advertised
free access to credit scores but charged customers $29.95 per
month. At least 210,000 people have complained about One
Technologies’ practices since 2008, the FTC said in the
complaint.

Nov 18, 2014

U.S. patent office tightens rules for examiners working from home

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office has tightened supervision of patent examiners who work
full-time from home, an official said on Tuesday, but critics in
Congress questioned whether the office was not going far enough
to curb abuse.

The estimated 5,000 patent examiners who work from home full
time must now be available electronically when they are on duty,
among other changes, Margaret Focarino, commissioner for patents
at the USPTO, said in testimony prepared for a hearing.

Nov 17, 2014

Halliburton faces tough sell in taking Baker Hughes deal to regulators

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Halliburton Co will have a tough time convincing U.S. regulators to approve its $35 billion deal to buy smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc but could prevail with the right divestitures, antitrust experts said Monday.

The deal, if approved, would create an oil services behemoth that would overtake current No. 1 Schlumberger NV.

Nov 14, 2014

Executives of NSK Ltd, Jtekt Corp indicted for price-fixing: U.S.govt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two executives from Japanese auto parts manufacturers have been indicted as part of the U.S. Justice Department’s long-running investigation into price-fixing in the auto parts industry, the government said on Friday.

Hiroya Hirose, who works for NSK Ltd, and Masakazu Iwami of Jtekt Corp were indicted on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky on charges of conspiring to fix the prices of bearings sold to Toyota Motor Corp, the department said.

Nov 13, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. FTC asking Apple about health data protection

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is seeking assurances from Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) that it will prevent sensitive health data collected by its upcoming smartwatch and other mobile devices from being used without owners’ consent, two sources told Reuters.

The two people, both familiar with the FTC’s thinking, said Apple representatives have met on multiple occasions with agency officials in recent months, to stress that it will not sell its users’ health data to third-party entities such as marketers or allow third-party developers to do so.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. telecoms to battle Obama Internet plan in courts, Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. telecommunications industry plans to fight tooth and nail against President Barack Obama’s call for stricter regulations on Internet service providers, taking its case to regulators, courts and Congress.

Obama on Monday stunned the telecom community by urging the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify ISPs so they could be regulated more like public utilities as a way to preserve “net neutrality.”

Nov 6, 2014

Republican win in Senate breathes life into patent legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate has brightened prospects for an effort to fight frivolous patent litigation, although the path to success is far from clear, sources close to the lobbying effort said on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives easily passed a bill in December to cut down on abusive litigation brought by patent assertion entities, or “patent trolls”: companies that buy or license patents, then aggressively pursue licensing fees or file infringement lawsuits.

Nov 4, 2014

Antitrust lawmakers air concerns about AT&T plan to buy DirecTV

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top two lawmakers on the U.S. Senate’s antitrust panel have written to regulators expressing concerns about AT&T Inc’s plans to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, including the impact on three regional sports networks.

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, wrote last week to Attorney General Eric Holder and to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to urge that they take several key issues into consideration as they decide if the deal should be allowed.

Nov 3, 2014

U.S. files lawsuit to stop merger of large movie ad companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said it filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to block National CineMedia Inc’s (NCMI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) proposed $375 million acquisition of smaller rival Screenvision LLC, a deal that would significantly concentrate a niche advertising market.

The companies are the big players in the slice of the advertising industry which books commercials to be shown in movie theaters. The companies and theaters share in the revenue, the Justice Department said in a statement.