Earlier this month on the 2022 NAAG Shopper Safety Fall Convention panelists together with present and former AG personnel mentioned latest shopper safety laws and rulemakings which were applied or proposed, in addition to latest courtroom actions affecting shopper safety legal guidelines to offer AGs and employees a 12 months in assessment.
Within the wake of the Supreme Courtroom’s unanimous choice in AMG, which held the FTC couldn’t acquire financial redress underneath Part 13(b) of the FTC Act, the company has since been exploring new methods to broaden its civil penalty and restitution authority. Efforts in Congress to amend the legislation have to date failed. Given the cumbersome course of to proceed administratively, the panel touched on the FTC’s issued rulemakings principally introduced underneath its Magazine-Moss authority, together with proposed modifications to endorsement guides and an ANPR on junk fees, impersonation fraud, and earning claims. The panel additionally famous that it stays to be seen whether or not, because the FTC had previously committed, we’ll see extra state partnerships with the FTC in mixed enforcement efforts.
With emergencies ebbing and flowing this 12 months, worth gouging continued to be a magnet for the states this 12 months. New York introduced a rulemaking on worth gouging. Some constituents concern that New York will broaden the definition of “extreme” worth, whereas others have famous appreciation for additional clarification of the undefined normal. Like most worth gouging legal guidelines, New York’s legislation was initially designed to handle life or demise emergency conditions creating an irregular market. Two instances will probably be attention-grabbing to look at as they unfold as a result of they are going to give higher readability on outer bounds of state worth gouging legal guidelines. Texas v. Cal-Maine Meals Inc. and NY v High quality King were introduced early within the pandemic in opposition to non-consumer-facing firms. Allegations concerned pandemic-related worth gouging that was trickling right down to shoppers. Each instances have been initially thrown out on a movement to dismiss. However, over the summer time, each instances went up on attraction and have been overturned and remanded again to the trial courtroom.
Equally, states have more and more turned their consideration to automated renewal laws. Panelists famous that Washington introduced examine outcomes on recurring expenses and signaled their interest in enforcement efforts in that space. Panelists partly attributed this shift to how subscription companies are enjoying a extra prevalent position on this totally different economic system, and others famous the similarities between these points and so-called dark patterns.
Whereas states understand the necessity to legislate for shopper safety, there’s additionally a must create a regulatory readability for companies that wish to function on this house. We’ll proceed to offer updates as these conversations proceed amongst State AGs.