DOJ to Criminally Prosecute Employers and Individuals that Reach Hiring and Wage Agreements under Federal Antitrust Law At the end of October, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) communicated a significant shift in their enforcement guidance regarding competition among employers to limit or fix terms of employment for potential hires.  In a new publication, Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals, the DOJ announced its intent to investigate,… Continue Reading
FCC Privacy Rules Break New Ground The Federal Communication Commission’s long-awaited – and much debated – privacy rules for Internet Service Providers have now been adopted. The agency approved the rules by a 3-2 vote along political party lines last Thursday. Several of the FCC requirements are particularly notable for being more restrictive than the Federal Trade Commission’s standards for consumer online privacy. In this post we provide an overview of some of the new FCC rules and highlight key areas where the FCC’s requirements diverge from the FTC’s framework.
What Covered Entities Should Know About the FTC Act and Their Obligations Beyond HIPAA The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced the release of new guidance for businesses on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the FTC Act. The resource reminds businesses that their obligations to protect consumer health data do not end with HIPAA, … Continue Reading
Patent assertion entities (PAEs), firms that purchase pre-existing patents and then license them for products that are already on the market, have been derided as “patent trolls” and “extortionists,” while their defenders have argued that they are an efficient platform between individual inventors and manufacturers. Over the last decade, the antitrust world has debated whether … Continue Reading
FTC Chairwoman Ramirez Addresses Direct Sales Association; Offers Compliance Recommendations for Industry and Signals that Additional Guidance is on its Way Last week, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez spoke at the Direct Sales Association (DSA) Business & Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.  In her comments, Chairwoman Ramirez acknowledged that the direct selling industry was a $36 billion industry that “has the capacity to provide consumers with valuable goods and services and an opportunity to try an entrepreneurial … Continue Reading
FTC Litigation Prompts Changes to Congressional Oversight Close followers of the cases FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. and In the Matter of LabMD know that the litigation has prompted increased Congressional oversight of the Federal Trade Commission’s data security enforcement practices. Prior to Wyndham and LabMD, Congressional debates on the FTC’s data security practices centered on whether the Commission should have additional tools to address these issues, including traditional rulemaking authority to create new data security rules, civil penalty authority to fine violators, or authority over the activities of non-profit entities. To the extent Congress questioned the FTC’s enforcement decisions in this pre- Wyndham and LabMD era, those inquires typically focused on the length of time of FTC settlement agreements, while relatively little attention was paid to how the Commission provided notice of its data security standards or how the Commission chose its enforcement targets. Wyndham and LabMD fundamentally shifted this debate.
Last week the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice jointly issued guidance to educate companies, and in particular human resource professionals, on how antitrust laws apply in the employment arena, particularly with respect to hiring and compensation matters. Human resource professionals should familiarize themselves with this guidance, which we summarize below, as the […] Continue Reading