FTC sues Amazon Prime for being too affordable and too convenient for consumers 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, it was reported that the Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit against the tech firm Amazon, claiming that its Prime subscription has “tricked” unwitting consumers by offering lower prices and faster delivery for customers who sign up for the service. The suit claims the company has “trapped” customers into Prime subscriptions.

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center reacted to the lawsuit:

“Consumers know they’re getting a myriad of benefits with their Prime subscription they can cancel at anytime, whether that’s faster delivery, cheaper prices, or bundled services like data storage and content streaming. That’s what consumers want.

“That the FTC would waste their resources going after an innovative company that consistently offers value for consumers reveals more about the agency’s political grudge than any perceived harm to consumers. Consumers have overwhelmingly had their welfare increased because of Amazon’s products and services.

“Behind the U.S. military, Amazon is the most favorable institution in the country, mainly because millions of consumers have had experience with Amazon’s platform, have been employed by the company, or have used their services in any way,” said Ossowski.

“It is well known FTC Chair Lina Khan has spent her career trying to build an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, as is revealed in her 2017 article on “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”, but those efforts fall flat with consumers who benefit and appreciate their services.”

“Consumers have voted with their wallets when it comes to Amazon’s services, including Amazon Prime. That an agency of the federal government would spend valuable time and resources trying to punish a company for offering too many affordable products and services in a unique way only seems laughable,” added Ossowski.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva, Lima, Brasilia, and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

**Please send media inquiries to yael@consumerchoicecenter.org.***

The Special Select Committee on Health needs to be independent from the influence of the Ministry of Health

KUALA LUMPUR, 15th June 2023 – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) is calling for a clear timeline on the Special Select Committee On Health’s process to review the Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023 to ensure that the process can be done thoroughly and holistically.

Representative of the Malaysian Consumer Choice Center, Tarmizi Anuwar said: “A clear timeline needs to be announced by the Government to give room for the Special Select Committee on Health to conduct a detailed and holistic study in preparing a feedback report to the Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023. It is important to ensure that this committee has adequate time to prepare its report.”

In the meantime, Tarmizi urged the government to prioritise regulating the vape industry that has long operated in the grey area. 

“Regulating the vape industry must be the government’s utmost priority. In the interim, while the Special Select Committee On Health reviews the Control of Smoking Product for Public Health Bill 2023, the government can look into expanding existing legislations to include vape. This is even more vital now that nicotine has been exempted from the Poisons Act.”

“In the long-run, efforts must be made to distinguish vape from tobacco. These are two very different products, and work in completely different manners. While tobacco causes an annual death toll of eight million people each year, vape has been scientifically proven to be 95% less harmful than tobacco and the most effective quit aid,” he said.

Tarmizi has also urged the committee to hold additional engagement sessions with stakeholders who are particularly impacted, particularly consumers. Also involving experts from various fields.

“Based on the regulatory impact statement issued by the New Zealand government, during the Proposal for a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan process, 5,200 people and organizations were involved through face-to-face or written methods. However, the Ministry of Health only conducted about 70 engagement sessions without revealing how many people and organizations were involved”, he said.

“This engagement also needs to involve experts from various fields who are not only limited to one point of view but need to include a variety of opinions because the cigarette problem is a complex problem and requires a comprehensive solution. Among them Tun Zaki who is the former Chief Justice once touched on the issue of individual freedom in the implementation of the generational endgame.”

Elaborating on the role of the Special Select Committee on Health, Tarmizi said the Ministry of Health must ensure that the committee must be free from the influence of the Ministry of Health and have autonomy in carrying out their responsibilities.

“The Ministry needs to ensure that the special select committee has autonomy in carrying out their studies without any interference from the Ministry. This is important to ensure that the members of the committee are able to carry out their responsibilities without any conflict of interest of the Ministry of Health as has happened before.”

The ‘Save Our Gas Stoves Act’ is about protecting your consumer choice in the kitchen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Save Our Gas Stoves Act (H.R. 1640), a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) and co-sponsored by 63 of her colleagues, standing in support of consumer choice on household cooking appliances. 

The bill would prohibit the Department of Energy from adopting recently proposed rules that would limit what fuel sources consumers can choose from for their cooking implements, with the intended effect of gradually removing gas stoves from the market.

“People know the risks of gas stoves and the cost-benefit analysis that comes with purchasing one. The purpose of having a variety of stoves is to offer users — professional chefs and home cooks alike — the option that fits best with their lifestyle and budget,” said Stephen Kent, spokesman for the Consumer Choice Center. “Rather than policing how we cook our eggs, agencies in Washington should focus on meaningful reforms that would help lower energy costs to spread savings to consumers.”

Recent studies reported by CBS News show that Americans spend at least 400 hours per year in the kitchen. That’s roughly 22,800 hours in the span of an average adult life cooking for yourself. 950 days worth of time spent in the kitchen — close to three years. That time spent in the kitchen should be as fulfilling as possible. 

“The idea behind the Save Our Stoves Act is simple. If legislators want to ban gas stoves and limit consumer choice on cooktops, they’ll have to put their name on it instead of passing the buck to unelected and unaccountable officials at the Department of Energy,” added Kent, “Support of the Save Our Stoves Act sends a message that the DOE has overstepped its authority in attempting to limit the lifestyle choices of consumers in the privacy of their own homes.” 

 ***CCC’s Stephen Kent is available to speak with media contacts on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send inquiries to stephen@consumerchoicecenter.org***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva, and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Stephen Kent joins Consumer Choice Center to expand its media capabilities worldwide

May 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C — In this new role with the Consumer Choice Center, Stephen Kent will work to strengthen the CCC’s media presence in North America, the EU and Asia, with an additional focus on government affairs and coalitions in Washington, D.C. He’ll advance its campaigns: Fit For Growth, Lifestyle Choice and Tech Innovation.

The CCC has notched significant wins for consumers in 100+ countries and tracks regulatory trends in Washington, Brussels, Ottawa, Brasilia, London, Geneva.

We’ve played a key role in the rolling back of Canada’s harmful excise tax on non-alcoholic beer, onerous professional licensing in Brazil, vaping flavor bans in several US states, and the protection of streaming content from new limits in Mexico. 

  • Bringing Stephen on to advocate on behalf of consumers is a huge victory. As a marketing whiz, former TV host, and published author, as well as someone with significant experience placing writers and commentators into media we are thrilled to welcome Stephen into the fold of consumer choice advocates in the U.S. and beyond,” said Consumer Choice Center Deputy Director Yaël Ossowski

Some points about Stephen Kent:  

  • Stephen Kent comes to the Consumer Choice Center with nearly a decade of experience advocating for individual liberty including as the Spokesperson for Young Voices, where he trained countless young writers and policy analysts in the trade of communications and public speaking. 
  • He has been published in USA Today, Washington Examiner, Reason Magazine, RealClearPolitics, Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer, The Federalist, The American Conservative, The American Spectator and seen on Fox NewsFox BusinessCheddar NewsAl Jazeera & more.
  • Kent was previously the host of Al Jazeera’s 2021 program, Right Now with Stephen Kent, a YouTube program for political talk and influencer interviews. He is the author of How The Force Can Fix The World: Lessons on Life, Liberty & Happiness from a Galaxy Far, Far Away (Hachette / Center Street), the definitive book on the relevance of Star Wars to contemporary politics during a time of populist movements worldwide. 

You will be able to contact Stephen by email stephen@consumerchoicecenter.org or on Twitter @Stephen_Kent89.


CCC is a consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. Regulators on local, national, and supranational levels keep regulating more and more areas of consumers’ lives. This leads to less consumer choice and makes products more expensive. We empower consumers to raise their voice in media, online, on the streets and facilitate activism toward a more empowered consumer in North America, Central and South America, the EU, Asia and Africa.

The government must end spreading myths around vaping to prevent the spread of false information

KUALA LUMPUR, 25th May 2023 – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) demands that the government must stop issuing myths or false statements about vaping being more dangerous than cigarettes in order to avoid misunderstandings and the spread of inaccurate information to consumers and the public.

Representative of the Malaysian Consumer Choice Center, Tarmizi Anuwar said: “It is time for the government to stop spreading myths or false information about vaping being supposedly more dangerous than cigarettes. Many internationally recognized scientific studies have concluded that switching completely to vaping provides important health benefits as opposed to continuing to smoke.

In September 2022, the latest research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London found that the use of vaping products compared to smoking leads to a significant reduction in exposure to toxins that promote cancer, lung disease and cardiovascular disease.

In addition, Tarmizi also said that claims about vaping causing diseases such as EVALI and popcorn lung is completely deceptive as advertised and there needs to be a law based on facts and scientific studies to regulate vaping products immediately.

“So much misleading news are connecting e-cigarettes to lung injuries known as EVALI. But the root cause is the abuse of prohibited substances containing vitamin E acetate and not legal vaping products.”

“A study conducted by Research Cancer UK indicates that e-cigarettes generally do not cause pulmonary disease known as popcorn lung. To date, no confirmed cases of popcorn lung have been reported among individuals using electronic cigarettes or vaping products.”

“That is why it is important that facts and science be used as the primary means of formulating legislation aimed at setting quality and safety standards for vaping. This not only protects consumers, but also ensures that vaping is one of the effective tools in helping people quit smoking.”

Regarding the so-called many teenagers around the world becoming addicted to nicotine and taking cigarettes because of vaping, Tarmizi believes there is no data to support the view that this problem is spreading among teenagers but believes that vaping underage should not be allowed.

Recently, the Director of the Center for Tobacco Products, Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Brian King said that vaping is not a gateway to smoking for teenagers. He said the use of cigarettes and smoke-free tobacco has declined more rapidly since 2012, when the use of e-cigarettes began to rise.

In addition, the health charity that aims to end the dangers of tobacco established by the Royal College of Physicians, Action on Smoking and Health, states that youth smoking rates are at an all-time low in the United Kingdom and that the use of electronic cigarettes by youth between 11-18 years old is rare.

“However, minors should not be allowed to vape. In order to avoid or reduce the risk of this happening, the government needs to enforce age restrictions through smart rules such as using modern age verification technology for online sales,” he concluded.

If Brendan Carr is reconfirmed to the FCC, how will consumers fare?

CCC Managing Director, Fred Roder (left), FCC’s Brendan Carr (middle), CCC Deputy Director Yaël Ossowski (right)

On Monday, President Joe Biden re-nominated Brendan Carr to the Federal Communications Commission. For consumer advocates like us at the Consumer Choice Center who work on many issues related to tech innovation and the protection of our rights online, that’s welcome news.

Now, the US Senate must confirm Carr’s nomination. It would be a welcome opportunity to continue efforts and opportunities to both support and defend consumer choice.

Throughout his tenure at the chief telecom regulator, Carr has chiseled out his space as a principled voice and worthy fighter for many consumers issues.

His dedication to the expansion of rural broadband access, smart investment in telecom and Internet infrastructure, and common-sense rules to help facilitate American ingenuity and entrepreneurship stand out as some major achievements.

Whether it was the repeal of Title II classification for Internet Service Providers (net neutrality), the protection of free speech, or his desire to address the influence of the Chinese Communist Party through TikTok and other platforms, Carr has never missed an opportunity to an evidenced-based approach vital to policymaking.

We hope to continue working with Commissioner Carr in his new tenure despite some disagreements on the nuances of specific policies because we believe he is earnest, sincere, and willing to hear arguments and policy cases from all sides of the aisle. There will be many opportunities to ensure policies are in the interest of consumers.

Issues such as online free speech, upholding Section 230, and how best to avoid government interference in content moderation will prove to be pivotal issues in the next term, and it will be of great benefit to a wide spectrum of American consumers to have someone like Brendan Carr at the helm.

If US Senators confirm Carr for another tenure, we look forward to working together for smart policies to benefit consumers around the country.

Here is a clip of our conversation with FCC Commissioner Carr on Consumer Choice Radio:

EU’s whopping $1.3 billion fine shows it’s becoming a lonely island of restrictive regulation and rule

DUBLIN, IRELAND – On Monday, it was revealed that a 1.3 billion euro (1.3 billion USD) fine will be levied against the American tech firm Meta for GDPR violations stemming from the lapsing of the EU-US Privacy Shield in 2020.

The Irish Data Protection Commission is responsible for levying the fine, even though it disagrees with it, but must follow the binding decision of the European Data Protection Board, which evaluates violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Though negotiations between the United States and the European Union on a privacy framework are still ongoing, the EU decided to impose this record fine regardless.

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the global consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center, responds:

“This retaliatory fine imposed by the EU — in the midst of privacy shield negotiations with the US — reveals the bloc is more interested in shaking down tech firms who deliver value to their users all the while providing no clear direction for global companies that already have millions of European users. 

“A good faith effort to work with US officials on a privacy deal, who are constrained by their own institutions and laws, would have yielded a much better result for consumers on either side of the Atlantic,” added Ossowski.  

“Instead, the EU is using ex-post-facto policing power that will likely diminish the online tech experience for European users and initiate a chilling in tech innovation on the continent.

“Once again, it seems the EU is responding to the changing face of innovation with bureaucratic committees and fines, rather than responsible and clear rules that anyone can follow.

“Rather than making Europe ‘fit for a digital age,’ these record fines and inability to work with global innovators demonstrates that the European Union is becoming an lone island of restrictive regulation and rule — and that’s at the expense of consumers,” concluded Ossowski.


The Consumer Choice Center is an independent, non-partisan consumer advocacy group championing the benefits of freedom of choice, innovation, and abundance in everyday life.

We champion smart policies that are fit for growth, promote lifestyle choice, and embrace tech innovation for tens of thousands of our members and society-at-large, using research and educational outreach to policymakers and the broader public. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

FTC Chair Lina Khan’s social media crusade is now just an expensive, taxing grudge against consumers who want cool tech

Red X on all your apps (generated by Midjourney AI)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Extending its crusade against select social media firms, the Federal Trade Commission proposed several scathing amendments to a 2020-era privacy order with Meta on Wednesday, hoping to issue a blanket ban on “monetizing” youth data, a halt on all new innovations or product upgrades, and key criteria on privacy provisions.

The FTC has already attempted to halt several high-profile acquisitions by tech firms since Lina Khan’s ascension to FTC chair, including Microsoft’s purchase of video game company Activision, and Meta’s acquisition of the VR fitness app Within.

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center, responds:

“These retaliatory actions prove the FTC is now subsumed by a hyperactive crusade against all mergers and acquisitions – and effectively consumer choice, especially when it comes to new technologies. This has a chilling effect on any and all new innovators and remains incredibly paternalistic to tech-native consumers who want robust competition.

“Business models come and go, and consumers should be the ones rewarding or punishing firms and services they want or don’t want to use, not the federal agencies temporarily in charge of competition policy,” added Ossowski.

The accusations by the competition agency that Meta has failed with respect to privacy also seem a bridge too far, especially considering the convoluted patchwork of state privacy laws and federal agency mandates that exist in lieu of a comprehensive federal law to safeguard consumer privacy.

“As consumer advocates, we regard privacy and data security as the most fundamental elements of a consumer’s online experience. But while there are true bad actors that exist and are actively committing offenses right now, the FTC is dead-set on pursuing an ideological agenda against a handful of American tech innovators, all the while excusing or remaining blind to the real privacy violations committed by foreign apps that have much larger reach and sway among young people.

“The FTC’s social media crusade is now just an expensive, taxing grudge against consumers who want cool tech. Consumers would prefer the agency punish bad actors and bad behavior rather than corner American tech companies into a labyrinth of compliance no one could ever reasonably pass.

“We as consumers deserve a vibrant online marketplace where the winners are chosen by us instead of whichever political faction happens to control a federal agency,” concluded Ossowski.


The Consumer Choice Center is an independent, non-partisan consumer advocacy group championing the benefits of freedom of choice, innovation, and abundance in everyday life.

We champion smart policies that are fit for growth, promote lifestyle choice, and embrace tech innovation for tens of thousands of our members and society-at-large, using research and educational outreach to policymakers and the broader public. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Accelerate the implementation of the MACPC amendments to enhance the rights of aviation consumers

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) urges the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) to immediately implement the amendments to the Malaysian Consumer Protection Code (MACPC) which should be implemented in the first quarter of 2023 to improve the rights of aviation users.

Malaysian Consumer Choice Center representative, Tarmizi Anuwar said: “Issues involving
consumers such as flight delays and cancellations, reimbursement methods and overdue
periods, passenger rights and voucher redemption have become more serious since the
outbreak of Covid-19. Although the pandemic has ended, this problem is still recurring and
requires immediate action by Mavcom to improve the rights of aviation consumers.”

In 2022 alone, Mavcom has received a total of 8,789 cases of complaints from customers of
which the three highest complaints involve refunds, lost, damaged and delayed baggage and
flight cancellations. This is the highest complaint case since it was first introduced in 2016.

Tarmizi also said that the delay in the implementation of the MACPC amendment may cause
the number of customer complaints and problems for this year to increase due to the
development of international and domestic passengers as well as the increase in aircraft
operations including the resumption of various flight routes after the pandemic.

“Airline consumers in Malaysia have been going through this problem for years and changes
can’t be waited for any longer. It is important to ensure that the amendment is able to regulate
airlines to comply with service quality and safety standards to protect consumers. With the increase in international and domestic flight operations in Malaysia, this amendment to the MACPC cannot be missed because there could be more technical problems.”

“When a flight is canceled, consumers should have the option of receiving either a full refund or
a travel voucher for rebooking a new flight in the future. While the travel voucher should not be
limited to a certain trip or destination but should be based on the value of the trip or destination.
This will give consumers a better choice to make a decision compared to airlines that make
choices on behalf of consumers,” said Tarmizi.

Regarding the refund period for tickets that have a refund value due to the consumer not being
able to board the flight due to the delay or cancellation of the flight by the airline company, it
should be shortened from 30 days to 10 days.

There are many complaints about delays by airlines and the difficulties for consumers to get
refunds, even if the mistake was not on their part. In order to ensure that users are not burdened
by unwanted situations, the repayment period should be shortened to 10 days. This is a
reasonable amount of time to ensure that airlines are responsible for settling user refund claims
when a flight is canceled,” he concluded.

Arkansas is inches away from locking millions of young people out of social media

Little Rock, AR – In the name of “online youth safety,” the Arkansas State Legislature this week passed the most draconian age-verification bill for online platforms in the nation, which would require all users under 18 who want to use specific social media platforms to provide exhaustive proof of their age and to seek parental consent.

If signed by Gov. Sanders, SB396 would create a labyrinth of weaponized policies that prevent teens from engaging with friends and family online, would burden future social media upstarts, and would lead to worse precedents that put free speech on the Internet at risk, as well as leading to significant hacker exploits.

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the consumer advocacy group Consumer Choice Center, responds:

“Not only does this bill make it more difficult for young people to begin to use the Internet and all the benefits it provides, but it also enshrines into law the idea that governments should pick which social media networks young people can or cannot use rather than parents.

“This bill is paternalistic, sets a terrible precedent for online speech and access, and amounts to nothing more than heavy-handed government control of who is allowed online and when.

“If Gov. Sanders signs this bill, she is aligning with the notion that government should be the final arbiter of whether young people access the Internet at all, and that parents should have diminished say in their kids’ digital lives. That is fundamentally wrong,” said Ossowski.

“The legislation has an exhaustive list of services exempted from these rules — from YouTube to Twitch, Truth Social, and others — demonstrating that instead of trying to “protect kids” writ large, this is nothing more than legislative retribution against certain social media companies, and has more to do with politics than positive discussion on online safety.

“What’s more, by requiring social media websites to collect sensitive photos, IDs, and documentation of Arkansas minors, they are mandating enormous privacy risks that will be a cyberhacker’s dream.

“We as a society should trust that parents have the ultimate right to decide whether or not their children access certain websites or services, not government officials sitting in the state capital,” said Ossowski.


The Consumer Choice Center is an independent, non-partisan consumer advocacy group championing the benefits of freedom of choice, innovation, and abundance in everyday life.

We champion smart policies that are fit for growth, promote lifestyle choice, and embrace tech innovation for tens of thousands of our members and society-at-large, using research and educational outreach to policymakers and the broader public. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

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