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The merger between Comcast and Time Warner may have hit some rocky shoals, The New York Times and other outlets have been reporting all weekend. Sources inside the Justice Department, which has the final say over whether merger would go through, are skeptical of the deal because it would give the new company "just under 30 percent of the country's pay television subscribers" and "an estimated 35 to 50 percent of the nation's broadband Internet service," according to the Times.

That's got regulators concerned, despite Comcast's protestations that the deal is really in consumers' best interest.

Federal agencies keep on trucking with hefty fines for breaking laws: $70 million from Honda, $300 million to the EPA -- at this rate, we'll pay off the national debt. (Just kidding.)

Compared to all that, Ashley Furniture's penalty of $1.7 million seems like pocket change. The global furniture manufacturer, with headquarters in Arcadia, Wisconsin, ran afoul of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Another year, another bunch of huge fines for car makers. It's an inauspicious beginning for Honda, which just agreed to a $70 million settlement with the Department of Transportation over its failure to report deaths, injuries, and warranty claims to the federal government.

What did Honda do to draw the government's ire?

After Marriott Fine, Hotels Ask FCC to Allow Wi-Fi Jamming

Back in October the villainous Marriott's Nashville Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center was slammed by the FCC for jamming convention-goers' Wi-Fi signals, ostensibly to push them into paying the hotel for Wi-Fi access at between $250 and $1,000 per head.

That led to a $600,000 fine and a three-year consent decree, but the hotel did not admit malice -- they maintained that their purpose was to protect the public from rogue hotspots that steal data and transmit malware to unsuspecting users.

They're so committed to that purpose, in fact, that they, along with a group of other hotels, have asked the FCC to allow them to jam users' Wi-Fi networks in the future.

Several years ago, the Justice Department announced it was cracking down on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the federal statute that makes it a crime to bribe foreign government officials in order to get business.

Last week, the French engineering company Alstom interrupted its Merry Christmas to plead guilty to FCPA violations and pay $772 million in fines -- the largest ever for foreign bribery, according to The New York Times.

USPTO Rejects Underwear Maker's 'Comfyballs' Trademark

This is a stupid decision. The Unites States Patent and Trade Office has rejected a Norwegian underwear manufacturer's requested trademark on "Comfyballs," their brand of underwear with "PackageFront technology." Apparently, cutesy references to male genitalia are "vulgar."

Balls? Balls, balls, balls. Is anyone offended yet? Balls.

Would Your Company Benefit From Immigration Reform?

Some have criticized President Barack Obama's immigration plan as unconstitutional. Others argue that it doesn't go far enough.

But for most people, the bottom line is the bottom line. Instead of pondering politics, they are wondering if the immigration overhaul, and other efforts that have been tossed around Congress, will help or hurt their company. On the one hand, you'd think that a higher supply of labor could only be good for businesses. But for some industries, the ideal immigration solution lies somewhere between open doors and bigger fences at the borders.

Take a look at the tech industry, for example.

In 2005, Halliburton hired Anthony Menendez to be the Director of Technical Accounting Research and Training in the Finance and Accounting department. Menendez trained field accountants and monitored accounting issues. A few months after he was hired, he reported to his boss, the Chief Accounting Officer (CAO), that some of Halliburton's accounting practices deviated from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

When a John Doe plaintiff signed up for the dating website PositiveSingles.com, he thought his information was being kept private. And why not? The website, if you can deduce from the URL, is a dating site for people who are HIV-positive, as well as those who are interested in dating HIV-positive people (who are not, themselves, always HIV positive).

The website is part of a larger network of websites, all owned by the same company -- SuccessfulMatch Network -- that caters to different types of people, like Christians or HIV-positive African Americans. And that was part of the problem.

Lawyer-Witness to JPMorgan Mortgage Fraud Claims Federal Cover-Up

One of the most infuriating things about the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent collapse of the economy was the absolute lack of accountability. Banks and big businesses were bailed out, nearly nobody was charged with crimes, and the executives who caused the whole mess continued on with massive salaries -- especially Jamie Dimon, who received a 74 percent raise after JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion (on paper) settlement with the government.

Now, with the settlement booked, and the statutes of limitations nearing their end dates, Alayne Fleischmann, the lawyer who was the key witness used to leverage the settlement, has come forward in a Rolling Stone feature, hoping that it will pressure the Justice Department to prosecute those responsible -- those who allegedly intentionally packaged and mislabeled junk subprime mortgages before selling them to investors.