September 23, 2019

September 23, 2019

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September 20, 2019

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State Attorneys General January 30 Update

Litigation

Attorneys General from 17 states have filed a motion to intervene in a federal case “in order to defend the constitutionality of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB),” according to a press release from Illinois AG Lisa Madigan, who joined in the motion. AG Madigan’s press release notes that Congress created the CFPB in 2010, and that the agency’s purpose is to “provide a single point of accountability for enforcing federal consumer financial laws and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace.” In the case, PHH Corporation, et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the CFPB has filed a petition for rehearing of an October 2016 ruling that “found the structure of the CFPB unconstitutional,” according to AG Madigan’s press release. The AGs state in their motion that they have “used their authority to bring civil actions in coordination with the CFPB to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive and abusive financial practices,” and argue in part that the October 2016 ruling, “if permitted to stand, would undermine the power of state attorneys general to effectively protect consumers against abuse in the consumer finance industry, and significantly lessen the ability of the CFPB to withstand political pressure and act effectively and independently of the President,” according to AG Madigan’s press release.

Attorneys General from eight states and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice “have successfully blocked the anti-competitive proposed merger of Aetna and Humana,” according to a news release from Virginia AG Mark Herring, who joined in the suit challenging the merger. AG Herring states in the news release that the “coalition [] filed suit in July 2016 challenging the proposed $37 billion merger as an illegal, anti-consumer move that would reduce competition, eliminate choices, stifle innovation, and drive up costs” for consumers. A group of eleven states, D.C., and the U.S. Department of Justice are also challenging “proposed $54 billion merger between Anthem and Cigna as another anti-competitive measure” that “would give the new company an anti-competitive level of market share in many communities,” according to AG Herring’s news release.

Advocacy

Florida AG Pam Bondi is warning Floridians “to be wary of storm-related [repair] scams” in the aftermath of the “deadly thunderstorms that impacted the Southeast [United States],” according to news release from the Florida AG. AG Bondi states in the news release that after severe and damaging storms, “unscrupulous individuals will sometimes prey on those in distress,” and that consumers should, among other “tips,” be “wary of anyone who approaches unsolicited about property repairs or tree removal” and to “[n]ever pay up front or make final payment until completely satisfied with repairs” performed.

© Copyright 2019 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

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About this Author

Clark Kent Ervin government investigations partner Squire Patton Boggs Lawyer
Partner

As a member of the Government Investigations & White Collar Practice Group, Clark K. Ervin helps clients under investigation, or facing the prospect of investigation, by federal Offices of Inspector General, to craft, coordinate and implement strategic defenses. An integral member of the firm’s Homeland Security, Defense and Technology Transfer team, as well as our International Policy Practice, Clark also provides invaluable counsel to clients, both corporations and foreign sovereigns, on issues of national security and foreign policy.

Having served as Inspector General of...

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Benjamin D. Tarbell, Squire Paton, Government Enforcement Lawyer,
Attorney

Benjamin Tarbell draws on his experience in regulatory policy to assist clients in the technology and communications sectors, specializing in matters before government agencies including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

While attending law school, Ben clerked full-time for Commissioner Ajit Pai of the FCC. In that role, he worked alongside the Commissioner’s advisors to draft statements, speeches and agency publications, and advise the Commissioner on FCC issues including the Broadcast Incentive Auction, media ownership, market competition and mergers, AM Radio spectrum allocation and licensing, program access, program carriage, public safety and Next-Generation 911, Connect America funding, Universal Service Fund compliance, the TCPA and Title II forbearance.

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