FTC Ups Consumer Review Fairness Act Enforcement

The FTC recently announced three administrative enforcement actions under the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”), the agency’s first actions alleging solely CRFA violations.  Passed by Congress in 2016, the CRFA prohibits form contracts that limit a consumer’s ability to communicate his or her assessment of a company’s products or services.  The CRFA also prohibits penalizing customers for such activity.  In the proposed consent orders settling the cases, each company is prohibited from using review-limiting contract terms in the future and is required to notify consumers that these terms in existing contracts are void and unenforceable. While non-disparagement clauses are perhaps the most common term that could run afoul of the CRFA, these enforcement actions illustrate that the FTC is also on the lookout for other types of restrictions companies may use.  For example, the FTC cited terms that prohibited consumers from…

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