The Federal Trade Commission today delivered a major warning to retailers, both on and off the Web, that it intends to be watching the growing use of rebates, and it is the retailers that advertise--not the marketers that sometimes provide the rebate--that are legally responsible. The FTC accused Buy.com, Office Depot and Value America of failing to fully or adequately disclose all the terms for rebates and in the Value America case of failing to provide rebates for computers in a reasonable time period. All three companies settled their cases. FTC officials acknowledged that the ads for the three were little different from those of competitors and said they hoped the enforcement cases would prompt other retailers to also act.
Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.