Macmillan has moved to settle numerous antitrust lawsuits brought by the United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) and a class of plaintiffs regarding e-book pricing, in exchange for payment of a US$20 million fine, legal fees and a small award to individual plaintiffs.
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.
The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made available the FTC Highlights: April 2012 - March 2013 (updated 12 April 2013), which summarise the FTC's initiatives in areas including:
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that losses of A$35,000 have been reported by consumers since January 2013 regarding "puppy scams". ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard explained that the scams advertise pedigree puppies "at prices that are too good to be true", before demanding advance payment and sometimes even transport costs for a delivery which will never be made.
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has approved final orders against nine companies charged with spying on consumers using computers that the consumers were renting.
Apple Inc (Apple) chief executive officer (CEO) Tim Cook has issued a formal apology for Apple's iPhone warranty and repair policies in China, reports Bloomberg. Reportedly, the apology came in response to criticism from Chinese media outlets "that Apple repaired broken iPhones instead of replacing them and that warranties weren't sufficiently long". According to AppleInsider, Chinese customers had complained that "[United States] customers with faulty phones receive a full replacement, while the same handsets in China were repaired with replacement parts".
The United Kingdom Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) has announced new rules which it says will better protect consumers from the effects of financial difficulties that may be experienced by their gas and electricity providers.
The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced the commencement of new retail rules including a ban on excessive surcharges for card payments. The ban follows the release of the BIS's guidance (March 2013) on The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012 and aims to bring an end to what the BIS has called "unscrupulous practices by business". Specifically, the new rules will require traders "to make sure that any payment surcharges are representative of the actual processing cost involved and they do not charge more than this".
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