Over the last ten days, 700 companies and 70 for-profit colleges received notice of the FTC's intent to pursue civil penalties under Section 5(m)(1)(b), if these companies and colleges engage in certain conduct deemed by the FTC to be unfair or deceptive. The notices sought to achieve two important Agency objectives: first, force addressees to consider their marketing messages and compliance programs; and second, reintroduce (or reinforce) the threat of significant monetary penalties for those who need discipline. The warnings will undoubtedly alter the dynamic of new investigations as parties consider the costs and benefits of negotiating consent orders that include payment of consumer redress.
In 2017, California updated its automatic renewal law to create some of the strictest requirements in the country. Now, just four years later, the Governor Newsom signed a new law that will impose even stricter requirements.
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