The Federal Trade Commission put more than 1,100 companies on notice Tuesday that it will aggressively target them if they make misleading representations concerning money-making opportunities.
The FTC sent the notice to many of the most high-profile gig-economy companies in the nation including Uber Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/211348248/composite UBER -1.07% , Lyft Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208999293/composite LYFT -1.29% , several leading multi-level marketing firms and even Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +2.80%
“Preying on consumers and workers with bogus promises of big earnings should never be profitable,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement. “Today’s announcement helps ensure that companies that cheat struggling Americans will pay a heavy price.”
The FTC stressed in its announcement that a recipient’s presence on the list of notified companies “does not in any way suggest that it has engaged in deceptive or unfair conduct.”
Federal laws bar companies from making false, misleading or deceptive representations regarding the earnings that can be expected from a money-making opportunity, including misleading statements about whether it is likely that a participant will make a profit or that an advertised profit is typical.
The FTC can fine companies more than $43,000 per violation if they are found to have knowingly violated the law.
Other gig-economy companies to receive the notice include DoorDash /zigman2/quotes/222973991/composite DASH +1.19% , Fiverr /zigman2/quotes/212683127/composite FVRR +10.06% , Upwork /zigman2/quotes/200102859/composite UPWK +5.30% , and Instacart . Multi-level marking firms Herbalife /zigman2/quotes/201199224/composite HLF 0.00% , Nu Skin /zigman2/quotes/200206291/composite NUS +0.61% , LulaRoe and MaryKay Inc. all received the notice as well.
The commission voted 5-0 to authorize the notice and its distribution.