LendEDU; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 8003-8004 [2020-02798]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 29 / Wednesday, February 12, 2020 / Notices FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 182 3180] LendEDU; Analysis To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement; request for comment. AGENCY: ACTION: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before March 13, 2020. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file comments online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘LendEDU; File No. 182 3180’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Widor (202–326–3039), Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC website (for February 3, 2020), at this lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Feb 11, 2020 Jkt 250001 web address: https://www.ftc.gov/newsevents/commission-actions. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before March 13, 2020. Write ‘‘LendEDU; File No. 182 3180’’ on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the https:// www.regulations.gov website. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online through the https:// www.regulations.gov website. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘LendEDU; File No. 182 3180’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’s Social Security number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any ‘‘trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential’’—as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)— including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 8003 Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled ‘‘Confidential,’’ and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC website—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Visit the FTC website at http:// www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before March 13, 2020. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/ privacy-policy. Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Shop Tutors Inc., d/b/a LendEDU (‘‘LendEDU’’ or ‘‘the Company’’); its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Nathaniel Matherson; its co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Lenhard; and the Vice President of Product, Alexander Coleman (collectively, ‘‘Proposed Respondents’’). The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement’s proposed order. Since 2014, Respondents have operated the website www.lendedu.com, E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1 lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES 8004 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 29 / Wednesday, February 12, 2020 / Notices which they promote as a resource for consumers in search of financial products such as loans and insurance. In numerous instances, Respondents have described the content on the website, including their rate tables, star ratings, and rankings of the companies offering these financial products, as ‘‘objective,’’ ‘‘honest,’’ ‘‘accurate,’’ and ‘‘unbiased.’’ Contrary to their claims, Respondents have provided financial services companies with higher numerical rankings or star ratings and higher positions on rate tables based on compensation. Respondents also have added or removed companies from their content based on compensation. In addition, Respondents have touted positive consumer reviews about their company and website that, in fact, were written by LendEDU employees or their friends, family members, and associates. Of 126 reviews of LendEDU on the third-party review platform Trustpilot, 90% were written or made up by LendEDU employees or their family, friends, or other associates. Respondents also have reposted and touted the Trustpilot reviews on LendEDU’s website, as well as fake reviews written by LendEDU employees who purport to be, but are not, actual users. The proposed order will prevent Proposed Respondents from engaging in similar acts or practices. Part I would prohibit Proposed Respondents from making the challenged and related misrepresentations. Part II would require Proposed Respondents to disclose the influence of compensation on representations made on its website and to disclose material connections among the Proposed Respondents and the various parties represented on the website. Part III would require Proposed Respondents, jointly and severally, to pay to the Commission $350,000 within 8 days of the effective date of the Order. Part IV sets out additional requirements related to the monetary relief. Part V requires Proposed Respondents to provide sufficient customer information to enable the Commission to efficiently administer consumer redress. Part VI is an order distribution provision that requires Proposed Respondents to provide the order to current and future principals, officers, directors, and LLC managers and members, as well as current and future managers, agents and representatives who participate in certain duties related to the subject matter of the proposed complaint and order, and to secure statements acknowledging receipt of the order. Part VII requires Proposed Respondents to submit a compliance report one year after the order is entered. It also requires VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:03 Feb 11, 2020 Jkt 250001 Proposed Respondents to notify the Commission of corporate changes that may affect compliance obligations within 14 days of such a change. Part VIII requires Proposed Respondents to maintain and upon request make available certain compliance-related records, including accounting records and unique websites. Part IX requires Proposed Respondents to submit additional compliance reports within 10 business days of a written request by the Commission. Part X is a provision ‘‘sunsetting’’ the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions. The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order’s terms. By direction of the Commission. April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–02798 Filed 2–11–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA–2020–N–0255] Patient-Focused Drug Development for Vitiligo; Public Meeting; Request for Comments AGENCY: Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Notice of public meeting; request for comments. ACTION: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, the Agency, or we) is announcing the following public meeting entitled ‘‘Patient-Focused Drug Development for Vitiligo.’’ The purpose of the public meeting is to allow FDA to obtain patient perspectives on the impact of vitiligo on daily life, patient views on treatment approaches, and decision factors considered when selecting a treatment. DATES: The public meeting will be held on March 30, 2020, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Submit either electronic or written comments on this public meeting by June 1, 2020. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for registration date and information. ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at FDA’s White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503), Silver Spring, MD 20993. Entrance for the public meeting SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 participants (non-FDA employees) is through Building 1 where routine security check procedures will be performed. For parking and security information, please refer to https:// www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ WorkingatFDA/BuildingsandFacilities/ WhiteOakCampusInformation/ ucm241740.htm. You may submit comments as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before June 1, 2020. The https:// www.regulations.gov electronic filing system will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of June 1, 2020. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/ paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date. Electronic Submissions Submit electronic comments in the following way: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to https:// www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else’s Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on https://www.regulations.gov. • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see ‘‘Written/Paper Submissions’’ and ‘‘Instructions’’). Written/Paper Submissions Submit written/paper submissions as follows: • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Dockets Management Staff (HFA–305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. • For written/paper comments submitted to the Dockets Management Staff, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 29 (Wednesday, February 12, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8003-8004]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-02798]



[[Page 8003]]

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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 182 3180]


LendEDU; Analysis To Aid Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or 
practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both 
the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order--
embodied in the consent agreement--that would settle these allegations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 13, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file comments online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``LendEDU; File No. 182 
3180'' on your comment, and file your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to 
the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), 
Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 
400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 
20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Widor (202-326-3039), Bureau of 
Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue 
NW, Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, 
notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement 
containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with 
and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been 
placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The 
following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the 
consent agreement and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic 
copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained 
from the FTC website (for February 3, 2020), at this web address: 
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/commission-actions.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before March 13, 2020. 
Write ``LendEDU; File No. 182 3180'' on your comment. Your comment--
including your name and your state--will be placed on the public record 
of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the 
https://www.regulations.gov website.
    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online through the https://www.regulations.gov website.
    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``LendEDU; File 
No. 182 3180'' on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your 
comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of 
the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), 
Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 
400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 
20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by 
courier or overnight service.
    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible 
website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for 
making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or 
confidential information. In particular, your comment should not 
include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone 
else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number 
or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; 
passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card 
number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your 
comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as 
medical records or other individually identifiable health information. 
In addition, your comment should not include any ``trade secret or any 
commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or 
confidential''--as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 
46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)--including in 
particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales 
statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing 
processes, or customer names.
    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is 
requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled 
``Confidential,'' and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, 
the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the 
comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and 
must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from 
the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in 
accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has 
been posted on the public FTC website--as legally required by FTC Rule 
4.9(b)--we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC website, 
unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements 
for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel 
grants that request.
    Visit the FTC website at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and 
the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the 
Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to 
consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission 
will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it 
receives on or before March 13, 2020. For information on the 
Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the 
Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') has accepted, subject 
to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Shop 
Tutors Inc., d/b/a LendEDU (``LendEDU'' or ``the Company''); its co-
founder and Chief Executive Officer, Nathaniel Matherson; its co-
founder and Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Lenhard; and the Vice 
President of Product, Alexander Coleman (collectively, ``Proposed 
Respondents'').
    The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for 
thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. 
Comments received during this period will become part of the public 
record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the 
agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should 
withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final 
the agreement's proposed order.
    Since 2014, Respondents have operated the website www.lendedu.com,

[[Page 8004]]

which they promote as a resource for consumers in search of financial 
products such as loans and insurance. In numerous instances, 
Respondents have described the content on the website, including their 
rate tables, star ratings, and rankings of the companies offering these 
financial products, as ``objective,'' ``honest,'' ``accurate,'' and 
``unbiased.'' Contrary to their claims, Respondents have provided 
financial services companies with higher numerical rankings or star 
ratings and higher positions on rate tables based on compensation. 
Respondents also have added or removed companies from their content 
based on compensation.
    In addition, Respondents have touted positive consumer reviews 
about their company and website that, in fact, were written by LendEDU 
employees or their friends, family members, and associates. Of 126 
reviews of LendEDU on the third-party review platform Trustpilot, 90% 
were written or made up by LendEDU employees or their family, friends, 
or other associates. Respondents also have reposted and touted the 
Trustpilot reviews on LendEDU's website, as well as fake reviews 
written by LendEDU employees who purport to be, but are not, actual 
users.
    The proposed order will prevent Proposed Respondents from engaging 
in similar acts or practices. Part I would prohibit Proposed 
Respondents from making the challenged and related misrepresentations. 
Part II would require Proposed Respondents to disclose the influence of 
compensation on representations made on its website and to disclose 
material connections among the Proposed Respondents and the various 
parties represented on the website. Part III would require Proposed 
Respondents, jointly and severally, to pay to the Commission $350,000 
within 8 days of the effective date of the Order.
    Part IV sets out additional requirements related to the monetary 
relief. Part V requires Proposed Respondents to provide sufficient 
customer information to enable the Commission to efficiently administer 
consumer redress. Part VI is an order distribution provision that 
requires Proposed Respondents to provide the order to current and 
future principals, officers, directors, and LLC managers and members, 
as well as current and future managers, agents and representatives who 
participate in certain duties related to the subject matter of the 
proposed complaint and order, and to secure statements acknowledging 
receipt of the order. Part VII requires Proposed Respondents to submit 
a compliance report one year after the order is entered. It also 
requires Proposed Respondents to notify the Commission of corporate 
changes that may affect compliance obligations within 14 days of such a 
change.
    Part VIII requires Proposed Respondents to maintain and upon 
request make available certain compliance-related records, including 
accounting records and unique websites. Part IX requires Proposed 
Respondents to submit additional compliance reports within 10 business 
days of a written request by the Commission. Part X is a provision 
``sunsetting'' the order after twenty (20) years, with certain 
exceptions.
    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the 
proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any 
way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.
April J. Tabor,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2020-02798 Filed 2-11-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P