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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Full Federal Court of Australia has confirmed that the Jewellery Group Pty Ltd (Zamel's) "made false or misleading representations in contravention of [the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 1974 No. 51 (Cth) (the CCA)] [in] its use of [two-price] advertising in catalogues and a flyer".

Published in Consumer Protection

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that it has penalised mortgage broker Mortgage Choice Ltd (MCL) A$30,600 for three infringement notices for false advertising.

Published in Consumer Protection

New Guidance - Best Practice for Online Reviews

04 Dec 2013
Written by World Watch

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released What you need to know about: Online reviews - a guide for business and review platforms (November 2013), a best practice guidance regarding review platforms and online product reviews for businesses that addresses misleading conduct relating to false online reviews. ACCC deputy chair Michael Schaper stated that "[m]any business rely on [online reviews] to promote their businesses, however, some unscrupulous businesses are taking advantage of consumer trust in online reviews".

The United Kingdom (UK) Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has welcomed the UK Supreme Court's decision to rule in favour of a same-sex couple that was refused a double bedroom booking at a hotel due to the hotel owners' religious beliefs.

Published in Consumer Protection

Bank Settles Class Action for US$20 Million

04 Dec 2013
Written by World Watch

United States (US)-based Bank of America Corporation (BoA) has agreed to pay US$20 million to settle a class action which alleges that BoA manipulated municipal securities markets in breach of antitrust law, resulting in uncompetitive interest rates for the plaintiffs.

Published in Competition

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Federal Court of Australia has ordered printer cartridge-telemarketing company Artorios Ink's director Tuan Nguyen and its sales manager Thuan Nguyen to pay A$50,000 after they admitted to "acting deliberately to mislead and deceive small businesses to generate ink cartridge sales".

Published in Consumer Protection

Maryland state Attorney General Douglas Gansler has announced that Maryland, 36 other United States (US) states and the District of Columbia have entered into a US$17 million settlement with Google, following the company's breach of consumer protection and privacy law by placing advertising tracking cookies on Safari web browsers despite telling users that it would honour the default Safari privacy settings, which prevented the placement of such cookies, from 1 June 2011 to 15 February 2012. Mr Gansler stated that the settlement "requires Google to change its privacy practices and to pay Maryland ... more than [US]$1 million as a civil penalty".

The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that the marketing firm Green Foot Global (GFG) has agreed to pay a penalty of US$800,000 for consumer redress, and to settle the complaint that it made "false, misleading, or unsubstantiated claims that [fuel additive] EnviroTabs, when added to any type of fuel, will increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and save consumers money".

Published in Consumer Protection

The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) and a number of other US federal and state agencies have announced a record US$13 billion settlement with bank JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPMorgan). The DoJ states that the settlement is the largest ever with a single entity in US history and resolves "[US] federal and state civil claims arising out of the packaging, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) by JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual" during and prior to the global financial crisis.

Published in Financial Integrity

Biodegradable Bag Claims End in Fine

21 Nov 2013
Written by World Watch

The New Zealand (NZ) Commerce Commission has announced that plastic bag manufacturer Eco-Pal Ltd (Eco-Pal) has been fined NZ$60,000 for making misleading claims about the environmental friendliness of one of its product ranges.

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