The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that AGL Sales Pty Ltd and AGL South Australia Pty Ltd have been fined a total of over $1.5 million for "illegal door-to-door selling practices". The Age reports that AGL retail energy general manager Stephen Mikkelsen stated that the case "demonstrates how difficult it is to control what salespeople do when they are at people's premises ... [e]ven if a company puts significant training and compliance mechanisms in place, door-knocking remains a risky sales technique".
Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson has convened a meeting with representatives of ten of the United Kingdom's (UK) supermarket firms, asking them to provide explanations for their inconsistent use of unit pricing for food and drink products.
The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has made available a settlement agreement (undated) under which generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Ranbaxy is to pay civil and criminal penalties totalling US$500 million after it pleaded guilty to "felony charges relating to the manufacture and distribution of certain adulterated drugs made at two of Ranbaxy's manufacturing facilities in India". According to the DoJ, Ranbaxy "pleaded guilty to three felony [US federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA)] counts, and four felony counts of knowingly making material false statements to the [US Food and Drug Administration]".
A United States (US) federal judge has approved shoe company Skechers USA Inc's (Skechers) US$40 million settlement of a class action which alleged that consumers were misled to believe that celebrity-endorsed Skechers brand "toning shoes" would help them lose weight and gain muscle strength).
Coca-Cola Co (Coca-Cola) will expand distribution of its low-calorie drinks and display more prominent nutritional energy information on its packaging in response to concerns over the purported contribution of carbonated drinks to growing obesity rates. Reportedly, Coca-Cola has also committed to not direct marketing towards children aged under 12, and to sponsor sports programs and other physical activity initiatives.
The European Commission (EC) has made available its proposal and associated frequently asked questions (both 8 May 2013) for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) on "the comparability of fees related to payment accounts, payment account switching and access to payment accounts with basic features".
The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released Consumer Fraud in the United States: The Third FTC Survey (April 2013), which presents data showing that around 25.6 million adults, or 10.8% of the US population, fell victim to fraud in 2011. The survey results showed that the internet is the main source from which fraudulent offers were communicated to survey respondents as of 2011, and fraud in relation to weight-loss products was most commonly perpetrated.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Australian Federal Court has found Excite Mobile Pty Ltd (Excite Mobile) to have engaged in false and misleading and unconscionable conduct in its supply of mobile phone services to a large number of customers across Australia.
The United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that a District Court judge has directed the return of over US$147 million in escrowed funds to Chinese investors in an allegedly fraudulent investment scheme that promised investors a chance to gain US residency through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. In February 2013, the SEC charged Anshoo Sethi and two of his companies over the scheme to sell securities for the purported financing of the construction of a hotel and conference centre near O'Hare Airport.
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