Filed under: Consumer news

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Court dismisses challenges to ‘open’ Net rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed on Monday challenges to an “open” Internet order adopted by the Federal Communications Commission last year.

The court said the challenges filed by Verizon Communications Inc. and MetroPCS Communications Inc. were premature, knocking down the companies’ claims that the rules would modify wireless licenses they hold. Get the full story »

Citibank to pay small checks first

Citibank said it will start clearing smaller consumer checks first, offering a reprieve for those who cut it close and sometimes get hit with multiple overdraft fees. Get the full story »

LivingSocial expands Family to west suburbs

Daily deals provider LivingSocial has launched its Family Edition in Chicago’s western suburbs, offering discounts on kid-friendly activities. Get the full story »

Crayola’s ill-fated colored bubbles anger parents

A child with green and orange fingers from Crayola Colored Bubbles. (Tribune photo)

It took nearly two decades of toil and trouble before scientists at toy giant Crayola successfully brewed up the secret formula that lets kids blow bubbles in vivid colors. The bottles went on sale in February, at $10 for a pack of three. Shoppers have snapped up several hundred thousand packages.

But now some angry parents may burst Crayola’s bubble. The problem: when the bubbles pop (or the solutions splash), they leave a neon-bright — and, parents complain, often permanent — mess. Despite the large type on the front of the bottles that says “Washable.” Get the full story »

CUB workshops offer tips on saving on phone bills

A nonprofit watchdog group is planning a series of clinics next week in the Chicago area to help consumers save money on their phone bills. The Citizens Utility Board is holding the clinics at libraries in Glenview, Morton Grove, Frankfort and Cary. Consumers can bring along their phone bills for a free analysis. Get the full story »

Move to delay debit card fee cap gains momentum

A legislative effort to delay and study a new law capping the swipe fees that retailers pay is picking up steam in Congress. Get the full story »

Google to toughen privacy policy, undergo audits

Google Inc. has agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy policy and undergo 20 years of independent audits as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in connection with charges that it used deceptive tactics and violated promises to customers when launching its Buzz social network last year. Get the full story »

Hyundai ending car buy-back program

No more Mr. Nice Guy. After Wednesday, if you buy a new Hyundai then lose your job within a year, you’re just going to have to keep the car. Get the full story »

Consumer confidence slips from three-year highs

U.S. consumer confidence fell in March after hitting a three-year high in the prior month as expectations about jobs and income growth worsened, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday. Get the full story »

Warren vs. Dimon on financial regulation

Elizabeth Warren, left, and Jamie Dimon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta; Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration’s defender of financial consumers, will venture into the corporate lion’s den this week, along with Jamie Dimon, CEO of banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The two will be speakers at an event set for Wednesday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest business lobbying group, in its Corinthian-columned headquarters situated within view of the White House.

Google working on mobile payment technology

Google is joining Citigroup and Mastercard to set up a mobile payment system that will turn Android phones into a kind of electronic wallet, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

March consumer sentiment lowest in over a year

Consumer sentiment in March fell to its lowest level in more than a year as gasoline and food prices rose, a survey released on Friday showed. Get the full story »

Apple’s iPad 2 hits overseas stores after U.S. sellout

Hundreds of customers formed long lines outside Apple stores on Friday for the international launch of the iPad 2, which has flown off the shelves in the United States and left the company struggling to meet demand. Get the full story »

AT&T, T-Mobile deal may mean higher prices

AT&T’s surprise $39-billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc. could lead to more consolidation in the U.S wireless industry, leaving the market with just two dominant providers — and the prospect of higher rates and fewer choices for consumers.

If approved by regulators, the newly expanded AT&T Inc. would have 130 million subscribers, allowing it to leapfrog arch-rival Verizon Wireless and its 94 million customers to become by far the nation’s largest wireless carrier. Sprint Nextel Corp. would be a distant third.

Procter & Gamble raises detergent prices

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Procter & Gamble will raise detergent prices by 4.5 percent in June as the world’s largest household products maker starts to respond to rising costs for materials, packaging and transportation.

The maker of Tide, Gain and Era laundry detergents said the increase would go into effect on June 6. Prices that shoppers pay are ultimately set by retailers. Get the full story »