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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has made available the following infringement notices (both dated 3 March 2014) issued under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 No. 51 (Cth) against financial services company Wealth Within for misleading online advertisements:

Published in Consumer Protection

Telco Fined for Unlawful Telemarketing

16 Apr 2014
Written by World Watch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Federal Court of Australia has handed down its decision in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Startel Communication Co Pty Ltd [2014] FCA 352 (8 April 2014), fining Startel Communication (Startel) a total of A$320,000 for "misleading consumers about their rights under [Schedule 2 (The Australian Consumer Law) (the ACL) to the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) 1974 No. 51 (Cth)] when cold calling consumers to sell mobile phone plans".

Published in Consumer Protection

Bank of America (BofA) has announced that it has reached an agreement with the following United States (US) regulators to "resolve issues related to the marketing and sale of credit card debt cancellation products and billing of identity theft protection products, including those marketed and billed by its vendors":

Published in Consumer Protection

Guidance - Country of Origin Labelling

16 Apr 2014
Written by World Watch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released A guide for business - Country of origin claims and the Australian Consumer Law (April 2014). The guide provides information to assist businesses in complying with Schedule 2 (The Australian Consumer Law) (the ACL) to the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) 1974 No. 51 (Cth) when making country of origin claims, including when businesses can make "made in", "product of" or "grown in" Australia claims, and how they can rely on the safe harbour provisions of the ACL.

Published in Consumer Protection

Telco Fined for Failing to Connect Emergency Calls

16 Apr 2014
Written by World Watch

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has made available the judgment ACMA v TPG Internet Pty Ltd [2014] FCA 382 (16 April 2014) in which, according to the ACMA, the Federal Court of Australia has fined telecommunications service provider TPG Internet (TPG) A$400,000 for breaching the Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Determination 2009.

Published in Consumer Protection

Presented by:

Anthony J. McFarland, Partner - Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
Brian R. Iverson, Associate - Bass, Berry & Sims PLC

Third-party risk and relationship management has become a point of concern and focus for many financial service providers. This is due, in part, to an increased focus by regulators. Both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) have released guidance on the subject, even asserting authority to regulate the third-party providers themselves. We have also seen recent enforcement action taken by both of these regulators relating to proper third-party risk management.

Published in Webinars

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made available Undertaking by Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd (Coles) (3 April 2014), which it accepted on 7 April 2014. According to the ACCC, the undertaking follows an ACCC investigation into a Coles promotional video which dairy farmer organisations had complained about "during a time of intense public debate about the impact of [Coles's A$1 milk product] on Australian dairy farmers who supplied the product".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has approved Decision and Order (3 April 2014), which "settl[es] charges that [NEW Plastics Corp (NEW)] ... misled consumers and distributors about the recycled content, post-consumer recycled content, and recyclability of its products".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States (US) District Court for the Western District of Louisiana has ordered Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (Takeda) and US-based Takeda partner Eli Lilly & Co (Lilly) to pay US$6 billion and US$3 billion in punitive damages, respectively, after a jury found that the companies sought to cover up cancer risks associated with their diabetes medicine "Actos".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States (US) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made available a letter (8 April 2014) in which NHTSA advises General Motors (GM) legal staff that GM "has not fully responded" to Special Order (4 March 2014) and therefore has been accruing civil penalties on a daily basis since 3 April 2014.

Published in Consumer Protection
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