Inside these posts: FTC

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FTC: POM Wonderful health claims are bogus

POM Wonderful isn’t quite as wonderful as it claims, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday, after filing a complaint that challenges the company’s statements that pomegranate can prevent and treat everything from heart disease to erectile dysfunction.

The agency called the claims — found in advertisements in print publications and on the Internet — “false and unsubstantiated” and based on flawed medical research.

In a story this March, the Tribune named POM Wonderful as one of several products on the market that made health claims in its advertising that are permissible only for FDA-approved drugs. Yet, POM Wonderful has staked its name on the fruit’s health benefits. According to POM Wonderful, since 1998 the company has paid $34 million to support pomegranate-related research at universities and by other scientists, yielding approximately 55 published studies. Get the full story »

FTC halts Internet sales of acai supplements

The FTC on Monday announced a court-ordered temporary injunction against Central Coast Nutraceuticals Inc., the maker of Acai Advanced, and four affiliated companies which market a variety of acai berry supplements and “colon cleansers.” The court order halts the allegedly illegal conduct of the company, freezes its assets, and appoints a temporary receiver over the company’s several related companies, the FTC said.

A permanent injunction is to be heard Friday in federal district court in Chicago. The FTC also accused Central Coast and two individuals associated with the company of engaging in deceptive advertising and unfair billing practices.

The FTC claims the marketers deceptively claimed the acai berry supplements will lead to rapid and substantial weight loss and the colon cleansers help prevent colon cancer. Some advertisements falsely claim product endorsements by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey or Rachael Ray. Get the full story »

US, states work to shutter fake health plans

U.S. regulators are cracking down on the growing number of companies that fraudulently sell so-called medical discount plans by telling consumers they work like health insurance and cover medical costs.

The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday it is working with 24 states to crack down on sellers of medical discount plans that market them as health insurance that covers doctors, hospitals and other services. Get the full story »

Boeing, Argon deal wins U.S. antitrust approval

Boeing Co. has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy defense manufacturer Argon ST Inc , the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday.

Boeing said in early June that it would buy Argon for about $775 million to beef up its capabilities in sensors, communications technologies and information management. Get the full story »

Nestle to drop claims Boost can prevent colds

A Nestle SA subsidiary has agreed to drop advertising claims that its children’s drink Boost Kid Essentials prevents colds and flu, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

The FTC, which pursues deceptive advertising, took issue with claims that BOOST prevented colds and flu by strengthening the immune system, focusing on advertisements for a drink sold with a straw embedded with probiotic bacteria. Get the full story »

Twitter to bolster user privacy in settlement

Microblogging service Twitter has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it put its customers’ privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information.

The settlement announced by the FTC Thursday stems from a series of attacks last year on Twitter, the three-year old phenomenon that lets people send short text messages to groups of followers. Under the agreement, Twitter is creating an independently audited security program, among other measures. Get the full story »

FTC sues companies for making ‘robocalls’

By Alejandra Cancino | The Federal Trade Commission  said Thursday that it has sued companies
that allegedly made millions of prerecorded calls offering to extend
auto warranties and lower credit card rates to consumers nationwide.

One was filed in Illinois May 24 against three companies that “operate
as a common enterprise”: Los Angeles-based SBN Peripherals Inc.,  Asia
Pacific Telecom Inc. and  Repo B.V.  The other was filed in Florida June
2 against Miami-based Dolce Group Worldwide LLC.

Get the full story »

BofA’s Countrywide settles with FTC for $108M

Reuters | Bank of America Corp has agreed to pay $108 million to settle government charges that its Countrywide unit, the mortgage lender that became synonymous with risky lending practices, bilked borrowers with misleading and excessive fees.

The Federal Trade Commission said two Countrywide mortgage servicing units deceived cash-strapped homeowners by overcharging them by hundreds or thousands of dollars, sometimes when they were already in bankruptcy.

Get the full story »

Walgreens says FTC clears Duane Reade purchase

Associated Press via Bloomberg | Walgreen Co. said Tuesday that the Federal Trade Commission has cleared its acquisition of New York City drugstore chain Duane Reade. The sale will give Walgreens 257 Duane Reade stores in the New York metro area, making it the biggest drugstore operator in the largest U.S. market.

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