October 24, 2018
The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is increasingly focusing on the advertising, data privacy/security, and e-commerce processes of prominent companies marketing legitimate, valuable products and services, as compared to the types of fraudsters and shams that have been a central focus of FTC attention in the past. The FTC’s recently concluded action against DirecTV is emblematic of this trend. In FTC v. DirecTV, the FTC alleged that DirecTV’s marketing failed to adequately disclose that (a) the introductory discounted price lasted only twelve months while subscribers were bound to a 24-month commitment; (b) subscribers who cancelled early would be charged a cancellation fee; and (c) subscribers would automatically incur monthly charges if they did not cancel a premium channel package after a free three-month promotional period.
On August 16, 2017, after hearing the FTC’s case-in-chief, Judge Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted judgment for DirecTV on the majority of these claims. And earlier this week, the FTC agreed to voluntarily dismiss the remainder of its case with prejudice.
Gibson Dunn partners Sean Royall and Rich Cunningham and associates Brett Rosenthal and Emily Riff recently published an article titled Lessons from FTC’s Loss in, and Subsequent Abandonment of, DirecTV Advertising Case in the Washington Legal Foundation’s The Legal Pulse blog. The article describes the case, the FTC’s evidence, and key takeaways for companies crafting advertising and marketing disclosures.
© 2018, Washington Legal Foundation, The Legal Pulse, October 23, 2018. Reprinted with permission.
Gibson Dunn’s lawyers are available to assist in addressing any questions you may have regarding these developments. Please contact the authors of this Client Alert, the Gibson Dunn lawyer with whom you usually work, or one of the leaders and members of the firm’s Antitrust and Competition or Privacy, Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection practice groups:
Scott D. Hammond (+1 202-887-3684, firstname.lastname@example.org)
D. Jarrett Arp (+1 202-955-8678, email@example.com)
Adam Di Vincenzo (+1 202-887-3704, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Howard S. Hogan (+1 202-887-3640, email@example.com)
Joseph Kattan P.C. (+1 202-955-8239, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Joshua Lipton (+1 202-955-8226, email@example.com)
Cynthia Richman (+1 202-955-8234, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daniel G. Swanson (+1 213-229-7430, email@example.com)
Debra Wong Yang (+1 213-229-7472, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Samuel G. Liversidge (+1 213-229-7420, email@example.com)
Jay P. Srinivasan (+1 213-229-7296, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rod J. Stone (+1 213-229-7256, email@example.com)
Eric D. Vandevelde (+1 213-229-7186, firstname.lastname@example.org)
M. Sean Royall (+1 214-698-3256, email@example.com)
Veronica S. Lewis (+1 214-698-3320, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brian Robison (+1 214-698-3370, email@example.com)
Robert C. Walters (+1 214-698-3114, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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