Settlements Without Penalties Spur Compliance More Than Litigation – FTC Commissioner
Non-monetary settlements are more effective than litigation at changing consumer product companies’ advertising practices, says FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson. “We see non-monetary settlements curtail behavior and require sometimes fundamental changes in the way companies do business.”
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Justice Breyer suggests FTC ask Congress to strengthen its enforcement rules. It is “free to ask Congress to grant it further remedial authority,” according to court opinion stating a rule the FTC has wielded for forty years to impose financial penalties doesn’t grant it authority to obtain equitable monetary relief.
FTC files complaint against Quickwork as first action under authority granted in the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act. The enforcement came after the firm twice ingored warnings to discontinue claims its vitamin D and zinc supplements were equal to or more effective than current vaccines.
White House, Democrat majority in Congress and likely next FTC chair support the agency wielding the authority, says advertising law attorney Holly Melton. Supreme Court, though, likely will rule in pending cases that a strict reading of an FTC regulation doesn’t grant monetary penalty authority.