2019 AG Elections
Republican Jeff Landry Secures Second Term as Louisiana’s Attorney General
- Louisiana held an election for AG on October 12, 2019; unlike other states, Louisiana holds “jungle” primary in which all candidates compete and, if one secures a majority (50%+1) of the vote, that candidate is declared the victor without a general election.
- Incumbent Louisiana AG Jeff Landry received a majority of the vote, defeating Democratic challenger Ike Jackson and other candidates to win a second term in office.
- AG Landry first assumed office in 2016.
Mississippi Attorney General Reaches Agreement with Wireless Network Provider Over Merger
- Mississippi AG Jim Hood reached an agreement with T-Mobile US, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) and Sprint Corporation (“Sprint”) to resolve antitrust concerns related to the companies’ merger.
- Under the terms of the agreement, the merged entity has committed to ensuring that rural communities in Mississippi have access to the 5G network and in-home broadband services; offering a low-price mobile plan; and providing free broadband connectivity and equipment to households with school-age children, among other things.
- As previously reported, 18 AGs—including AG Hood—had sued to enjoin the merger over allegations that it would substantially lessen competition in violation of the Clayton Act. The litigation by the remaining AGs is ongoing.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
CFPB Announces Formation of Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is forming a “Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law” (“Taskforce”), which will examine the current federal laws and regulations facing consumers and providers of financial services, in order to provide recommendations to Director Kathleen Kraninger for the modernization and harmonization of such laws.
- According to the CFPB, the Taskforce will research and analyze the enumerated consumer credit laws and their implementing regulations, propose any additional research necessary, and identify potential conflicts or inconsistencies in existing regulations and guidance.
- The CFPB is now accepting applications for membership on the taskforce. It is seeking members with a broad range of expertise relating to the areas of consumer protection and financial services and products; expertise in analyzing the relevant markets, laws, and regulations; and a record of public or academic service.
Data Privacy & Security
California Attorney General Releases Proposed Regulations Under New Privacy Law
- California AG Xavier Becerra released proposed regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) for public review and comment which, as previously reported, will expand both consumer privacy protections and the types of information that are considered protectable personal information.
- According to AG Becerra, the proposed regulations operationalize the CCPA and provide practical guidance to those impacted by its provisions, including businesses required to notify consumers of compromised passport numbers and biometric data (AB1130), and data brokers required to register with the AG’s Office (AB1202), among other things.
- Comments on the proposed regulations may be submitted until December 6, 2019.
Arkansas Attorney General Sues Three E-Cigarette Retailers for Alleged Sales to Minors
- Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge sued vaping retailers BuyVapor.com LLC, Gladiator Distribution Inc. d/b/a The Vape Co., Mystic Juice USA, LLC, and related individuals for allegedly selling vaping products to minors in violation of Arkansas’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
- According to the complaints, the companies allegedly sold and shipped vaping products without adequate verification of the purchaser’s age, and Mystic Juice USA, LLC allegedly used eBay.com to avoid minimum age requirements and deceptively bypassed eBay’s prohibition on sales of tobacco products.
- The complaints seek injunctive relief, civil penalties, and costs.
- AG Rutledge also sent a letter to eBay, urging the company to immediately remove all e-cigarette, vaping, and nicotine products from its online sales platform, and recently held a Youth Vaping Summit in partnership with Arkansas Children’s and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, convening medical experts, educators, parents and law enforcement for the purpose of discussing the dangers of e-cigarettes and potential solutions.
Florida Attorney General Launches Investigation Into Marketing and Sales Practices of 22 E-Cigarette Companies
- Florida AG Ashley Moody launched an investigation into the marketing and online sales strategies of 22 e-cigarette companies to determine whether they have violated state consumer protection laws.
- According to AG Moody, the investigation will seek to determine whether these companies intentionally target minors through their marketing or fail to take adequate precautions to prevent the sale of vaping products to minors, and whether the companies have unfairly or deceptively represented the smoking cessation benefits or health impacts of their products.