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Adware Marketer To Pay $1.5 Million To Settle FTC Complaint

February 20, 2007
Adware distributor Direct Revenue LLC will pay $1.5 million to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission charges that it and its affiliates installed adware and pop-up generating software on the machines of unsuspecting users.

The FTC complaint said that Direct Revenue and affiliates accomplished these installations by means of exploiting Web browser flaws. The FTC labeled these practices "unfair and deceptive methods to download adware onto consumers' computers and then obstruct them from removing it."

The FTC decision was 4-1. Dissenting Commissioner John Leibowitz thought the punishment was too mild.

Man did he ever:

"The $1.5 million in monetary relief that the Commission obtained as part of the consent agreement is a disappointment because it apparently leaves Direct Revenue's owners lining their pockets with more than $20 million from a business model based on deceit," Leibowitz said. "I would rather go to trial and risk losing than settle for a compromise that makes an FTC action just a cost of doing business."

As part of their punishment for what the FTC is terming "ill-gotten gains," Direct Revenue is also proscribed from delivering ads of any type to any user who installed their software before October 1.

My suspicion is that not a lot of people did that.

The only exception: users who specifically agreed to terms in opt-in messages.




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