CMA takes Norton to court for withholding information The CMA is taking a leading anti-virus software firm, Norton, to court after it refused to provide certain information for an investigation into auto-renewing contracts.During its investigation into the anti-virus software sector, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has identified a number of important concerns that Norton’s terms and practices for automatically renewing contracts could result in customers paying for services they no longer want or need.To progress its case on the basis of relevant evidence, the CMA requested information from Norton, including research undertaken by the software firm on how customers responded to website information on auto-renewal and pricing. Norton has refused to provide some of this information.The CMA considers Norton’s non-compliance to be in breach of its legal obligations and the CMA will now use its powers to enforce the request for information through the courts. This is the first time the CMA has needed to take this step in a consumer protection case.Andrea Coscelli, CMA Chief Executive, said:It is completely unacceptable that a leading anti-virus software firm has refused to supply all the information we asked for, which is why we’re taking the firm to court.Our unprecedented decision in this case reflects the serious impact of Norton’s refusal, which is delaying a CMA investigation intended to protect UK consumers.A rollover or auto-renewing contract automatically renews at the end of a set time period onto a further set period. It means the customer – whose payment details are kept on file – is charged unless the customer actively takes steps to cancel the contract.During this case, the CMA is investigating whether Norton:provides sufficiently clear or prominent information that a contract will automatically renew, both before the customer enters into the contract and then before it automatically renewsprovides the customer with adequate ways to cancel the automatic renewaluses price promotions that present a regular introductory price as a sale priceuses unfair contract terms to increase the prices paid by customers when contracts automatically renewThe CMA has made an application to obtain an Order requiring Norton to provide the outstanding information. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:court, Government, Impact, investigation, research, rollover, software, UK, UK Government, website
iStock/MotortionBy: BILL HUTCHINSON, ABC News (NEW YORK) — A federal magistrate judge has recommended that criminal charges be dismissed in a 2018 duck boat sinking during a storm on a Missouri lake that killed 17 people, including nine from the same family.U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush made the recommendation on Friday, writing that a 47-count indictment against the duck boat’s captain, operations supervisor and on-duty manager should be dropped because the tragedy occurred on a lake that is not considered a “navigable waterway” under federal admiralty law governing waterways and highways customarily used for commerce.After hearing arguments from both sides of the case, Rush concluded that the federal court has no jurisdiction over the case and that it should be handled in state court.A final decision on the case has not been made and a hearing on Rush’s recommendation has yet to be scheduled.The maritime calamity, one of the worst in American history, happened on July 19, 2018, on Table Rock Lake near Branson when the Ride the Ducks amphibious vessel owned and operated by Ripley Entertainment sank during a ferocious storm. Among those killed were nine members of the Coleman family of Indianapolis, including four children, the youngest a 1-year-old girl.Other victims were from Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.A total of 29 passengers and two crew members were on board the Stretch Duck 7 when it experienced turbulent waters during a thunderstorm that swept into the area, officials said. In what was scheduled to be a 70-minute tour of Table Rock Lake, the duck boat was buffeted by gusts of up to 73 miles per hour and capsized by waves that crested at 6 feet, officials said.While the pilot of the boat, Bob Williams, 73, were among those who died, the captain, Kenneth Scott McKee, survived.McKee was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2018. A superseding indictment unsealed in June 2019 also charged Curtis Lanham, the general manager of the boat’s operator, Ride the Ducks Branson, and Charles Baltzell, the manager on duty the day of the deadly trip.All three men were indicted on numerous charges of neglect under the seaman’s manslaughter statute. Each pleaded not guilty to the charges.The earlier indictment against McKee, who had been a duck boat captain for 18 years, alleged that he failed to properly assess incoming weather before launching the boat and did not order passengers to put on life vests as the weather conditions worsened.The National Transportation Safety Board released the findings of its investigation on April 28, 2020, concluding the vessel sank when it was flooded through an air intake hatch on the bow that was not weather tight.The NTSB investigation also found that the tragedy could have been avoided had the U.S. Coast Guard followed recommendations to improve the safety of such tourist attractions that were made following a similar duck boat sinking in Arkansas in 1999 that killed 13 people. The Coast Guard’s failure to require sufficient buoyancy in amphibious vehicles and its failure to address emergency exits on such vehicles with fixed canopies contributed to the sinking and loss of life, according to the NTSB report.In an emotional press conference just days after the deadly voyage, Tia Coleman, who survived the sinking but lost her husband and three children in the tragic lake excursion, said when she and her family boarded the boat, the captain pointed out life jackets but said they wouldn’t be needed.“The captain did say something about life jackets,” Coleman recalled. “He said, ‘Above you are your life jackets. There are three sizes. He said, ‘I’m gonna show you where they are, but you won’t need them. So, no need to worry.’ So we didn’t grab them.”Ripley Entertainment has settled numerous lawsuits stemming from the tragedy, including a $100 million federal lawsuit filed in Kansas City, Missouri, by lawyers representing the Coleman family.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.